Wake to identify schools for Race to the Top money

October 19, 2010 12:01:28 PM PDT
Instead of breaking up its cut of the Race to the Top money and spending it at each school, Wake County is in the process of identifying high needs schools to focus its spending.

Superintendent Donna Hargens updated board members Tuesday on how the school system may want to spend the $10.2 million it's expected to get over the next four years.

Hargens said Wake’s Race to the Top team has come up with a suggested "Renaissance Model." The model would reinvent schools with performance composites of less than 60 percent.

Four schools in Wake fall into that category.

School board member John Tedesco said that he would like to see the money spent on schools with performance composites of less than 70 percent - or 26 schools.

"I think we need to raise the bar here in Wake County," Tedesco said.

Hargens explained the more schools that see money means that those schools would see less of an impact.

"If we broke up the money equally across the district it would be $18 per student or $280 per teacher which doesn’t have much of an impact," she said. "We want to leverage this money to make a big difference."

Some of the ways Wake could consider overhauling those schools include having staff at those schools reapply or transfer, recruit staff with a record of student growth, provide technology, flexibility, and performance pay for student growth.

The state is expected to get $400 million in federal money from its Race to the Top grant. Wake does not have any schools on the list of 5 percent Lowest Performing Schools in the state, nor does the district fall on the list of lowest achieving districts.

Here's the list of lowest-achieving districts with a 2009-2010 LEA Performance Composite below 65 percent:

· Anson County Schools

· Thomasville City Schools

· Durham Public Schools

· Edgecombe County Public Schools

· Greene County Schools

· Halifax County Schools

· Weldon City Schools

· Herford County Schools

· Northampton County Schools

· Robeson County Schools

· Warren County Schools

· Washington County Schools

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