School Division Submits Comments on "Race to the Top" Fund

Pursuant to a notice in the Federal Register, the AAP School division has submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education regarding proposed priorities, requirements, and selection criteria for the Department's "Race to the Top" Fund.  the $4.35 billion fund is a new competitive grant program created by the Obama Administration and Congress to support large-scale education improvement initiatives in the states.

AAP supports the Race to the Top initiative and its efforts to encourage and reward reform and innovation in our nation's schools, and was among 1,500 organizations submitting comments regarding the fund.  Among the recommendations in the AAP submission:

Placing a high priority on comprehensive literacy programs;

Addressing equity in the availability of instructional materials;

Integrating formative and interim assessments more closely with professional development;

Providing professional development to educators on how to access and use data to inform instructional and decision-making.

However, AAP expressed concern over a proposed Race to the Top requirement that would require states to "make freely available all of the outputs (e.g., materials, tools, processes, systems) that it or its designated partners produce related to its grant, including by posting the outputs on any Web site identified or sponsored by the Department."

AAP believes that, if implemented, this requirement would violate the intellectual property rights of third-party providers under federal copyright law and recommends that this requirement be modified to recognize instances where the outputs will be proprietary.

For more information regarding AAP comments on the Race to the Top Fund, contact Jay Diskey, executive director of the AAP School Division, at jdiskey@publishers.org or (202) 220-45489.