If New York City wants to expand its use of technology to tailor instruction to students' individual needs, it will have to do so without special federal funding.
The city was not on the list today when the U.S. Department of Education named the winners of its Race to the Top-District competition, aimed at rewarding districts that "personalize learning."
One reason: The city Department of Education did not supply requested information about its budget.
The city had been one of 61 finalists in the competition, which netted nearly 500 applications from school districts and consortia of districts from across the country. It had asked for $40 million to expand and augment existing initiatives, including the Innovation Zone, and build innovative schools from the ground up.
Applications were scored by independent reviewers according to stringent rules set out by the U.S. Department of Education, and New York City's application got high marks in most categories. The reviewers lauded the city's vision, its prior record of success making major changes, and its analysis of where and why a move toward personalized learning would be useful.
But it lost points because the city did not outline a clear timeline for carrying out the plans, show how the funds would benefit all students, or demonstrate that it had gotten buy-in from community partners with which it promised to collaborate.