By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia School District has applied for millions in grants under the federal “Race to the Top” program.

This round of grants gives cash to individual school districts using innovative tools to personalize learning.

“The best case scenario would be that the district would be awarded up to $40 million, and we would use that to improve programs in 25 to 35 elementary schools with a specific focus on intensified literacy instruction.”

The School District’s Deputy of Curriculum Assessment and Educational Technology Fran Newberg says the schools would also use the money to introduce real-time response clickers to the upper grades.

“The response systems are such a wonderful educational, almost, luxury. But it’s a great way for teachers to know immediately who understood the concept that was just presented, who really didn’t get the concept and maybe who is somewhat in the middle.”

The winning districts will be notified next month.

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