Massachusetts Race to the Top Award

On behalf of the CEO members of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, I salute the state officials and business and civic leaders who played key roles in the state’s successful Race to the Top federal stimulus funds grant application. As a leading member of the Race to the Top Coalition, the Council worked closely with Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, legislative leaders, and others to help pass the Achievement Gap Act of 2010 that strengthened the state’s application by expanding charter and turnaround schools in underperforming districts and by introducing Innovation Schools.

But with this welcome news comes the reality that other states are also raising their games – not to mention the academic success of international economic competitors like Singapore and China. In order to stay at the top, Massachusetts must continue to build on our proven, successful model of strong accountability, innovative school options and targeted classroom investment. The $250 million in funds will certainly help struggling districts pay some bills. However, the lasting legacy of the Race to the Top will be the significant reforms that, if properly implemented, will maintain Massachusetts’ standing as a premier global public education system. Now that Massachusetts has won the grant, we need to ensure it stays ahead in the race.