HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — About 400 western Maryland public school teachers are gathering in Hagerstown for a three-day meeting aimed at helping poor students do better.

The so-called Educator Effectiveness Academy opens Tuesday. It is among 10 such workshops scheduled across the state as part of the federal Race to the Top competition.

The workshops are funded by federal grants to school districts where at least 40 percent of students qualify for free or
reduced-price lunch. The educators are creating plans targeting specific student groups with the aim of closing the achievement gap.

Race to the Top is an Obama administration program. It has awarded billions of dollars to states to implement educational reforms the administration favors.

In December, Maryland was among nine states awarded $500 million to improve early childhood programs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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