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(Washington Examiner) — Maryland and D.C. schools won a combined $325 million in federal funding on Tuesday for their efforts to enact educational reforms pushed by the Obama administration.

The money will be used in part to collect enormous amounts of data to more effectively evaluate teachers’ performance, to create tests aligned with new national standards, and to support poorly performing schools.

The two jurisdictions are among 11 in the nation to earn a share of $4.3 billion in Race to the Top dollars, made available for the first time this year from the U.S. Department of Education. States — or state-level offices such as the one run by D.C. State Superintendent Kerri Briggs — submitted applications in June explaining why their recent reforms deserved financial backing.

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