Massachusetts is one of nine states sharing a $500 million federal grant to improve early childhood education.
The money is part of the Obama administration's Race to the Top education initiative. The winning states were announced Friday.
The goal of the competition was to get more young children ready for kindergarten.
States were asked to show commitment to making early education programs more available, coordinated and effective. They were also asked to focus on professional development for teachers and assessing the education level of kids entering kindergarten.
Unlike previous Race To The Top grant funds the state received, Secretary of Education Paul Reville says this money will go to communities pioneering new assessment mechanisms to test childhood readiness.
"It's different from Race to the Top in the elementary and secondary level where there was an automatic division to communities who signed up, because early childhood education, the delivery system, looks different," Reville said.
Thirty-five states, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, competed for the grants.
Massachusetts also won a Race to the Top grant last year to help turn around low-performing schools.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This article was originally published on December 16, 2011.
This program aired on December 16, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.