WHEREAS, todayís students are the future of the United States, and that future is dependent on the decisions leaders make today about their education; and
WHEREAS, national and local leaders must continue to make necessary investments in quality education and take advantage of every opportunity to provide top-quality education to every student; and
WHEREAS, much of the nationís innovative education reform is happening in local school districts, where local leaders, administrators and teachers see firsthand and react to the specific needs and challenges of their students; and
WHEREAS, it is important to acknowledge the difference between states, which largely set general policy for a diverse set of students, and school districts that have to implement those policies; and
WHEREAS, realizing that district and state needs are different, it is essential to devise criteria that will enable districts to make the necessary reforms that Congress and the United States Department of Education has worked to enact; and
WHEREAS, noting that the needs of cities and states vary significantly, future rounds of the Race to the Top grant program should be directed to districts, where educators know best how to implement specific reform; and†
WHEREAS, numerous school districts were encouraged that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has announced that the next round of the Race to the Top grant program would include a district-level competition; and
WHEREAS, many mayors and district leaders applaud Secretary Duncanís commitment to district level efforts, which will be an important catalyst to further and support local reforms; and
WHEREAS, by focusing district-level Race to the Top on implementation rather than just policy change, the grant will maximize the ability of districts to have direct and immediate impact on schools and classrooms.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports this round of Race to the Top grants directed to local school districts; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the United States Department of Education and the United States Congress to direct a significant portion of future rounds of Race to the Top to school districts.