UK College of Education Partners on $30 million 'Race to the Top' Grant
by Jenny Wells
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2014) — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $30 million to 17 eastern Kentucky school districts to implement a plan involving a strong collaboration with the University of Kentucky College of Education.
The grant – part of "Race to the Top" funding for which school districts may apply – will enable a unique partnership between the UK College of Education and districts in the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC). More than 200 applications were received in this year’s round and KVEC is one of five grant winners selected from 31 finalists, representing 80 school districts across 21 states.
The funding will support work to tailor education for all students and provide school leaders and teachers with key tools that support them in meeting students' needs. For UK’s part, the College of Education will work alongside district leaders and teachers to provide support, leadership and professional learning communities on issues that help schools meet the unique needs of 21st century learners.
“An ongoing concern exists that schools in the United States are not adequately preparing our students to succeed in an increasingly diverse, globalized and technology-rich world,” said UK College of Education Dean Mary John O’Hair. “Since the time schools were originally designed, we now have a deepened understanding of the process of learning, greater knowledge of sociocultural factors in learning, and we simply recognize that the world has changed. Still, schools largely operate by the same designs that existed in the Industrial Age. Far too long, education leaders from all levels have worked in silos to tweak learning systems for 21st century students and it has produced only limited results. To accomplish the goal of college and career readiness for all students, radically different learning experiences and environments must be created and new systems of support for learners must be delivered.”