Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the following 16 finalists will advance in Phase 1 of the Race to the Top Grant Competition.

Colorado

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Kentucky

Louisiana

Massachusetts

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

The finalists were selected from among the 41 applicants for Phase 1 of the competition, and earned the highest scores from the peer reviewers. The finalists (for Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education) will present their proposals to the panels that reviewed their application in Washington, DC in mid-March. Following the presentations, the panel will meet again to review and score the finalists’ applications, and will submit the scores to Secretary Duncan for his final selection. The Department anticipates selecting “very few winners in Phase 1,” with the number of winners being determined by the “strength of their applications.”

The Department will announce the winners in April, and applicants not selected will be eligible to reapply by June 1 for Phase 2.