Today the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services announced five winners for the second round of the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge: Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin. These states join nine others that received grants in 2011: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington.
The purpose of the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge is to improve quality and expand access to early learning programs. In this round, additional weight was placed on the development of states’ Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), which give parents and the public information about the quality of child care and pre-K programs in their geographic area.
When the RTT-ELC application was first released in August 2011, we released a state-by-state analysis and made some predictions on likely winners. Two of the new grantees, Colorado and New Mexico, were among our top contenders.
Be sure to check out our special page compiling our ongoing coverage of the RTT-ELC competition and its 2011 grantees.
In the new year, we will continue our coverage of RTT-ELC by delving into the new winners’ specific plans.