[caption id="attachment_107991" align="alignleft" width="150"] The Race to the Top District competition requires applicants to design personalized learning environments using digital tools—but critics say education funding shouldn't be turned into a competition.[/caption]

Nearly 900 school districts across the nation intend to apply for a slice of close to $400 million in grants that the U.S. Education Department will distribute in support of local initiatives that help close achievement gaps and prepare students for college and a career.

The department announced Aug. 31 that 893 applicants are slated to participate...

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