Just in case you have heard a lot about the “Race to the Top” initiative being implemented by the Obama Administration and are wondering what it is, here is a short summary of this program.
Race to the Top is simply a national competition among states to encourage them to accelerate specific reforms in education. Over $4 billion has been set aside to support education reforms across the country in these four areas:
- “Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;”
- “Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;”
- “Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most;”
- “Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.”
1. States can apply for money to support their planned reforms
2. Finalists are chosen and are required to present their plans to a review committee
3. The winners are ultimately selected.
Round 1 of this initiative saw 41 applications submitted and on March 29, 2010 Arne Duncan (Sec. of Education) announced the Round 1 winners: Delaware and Tennessee.
Round 2 of the competition is already off and running, with more than $3 billion still available for state and locally-based education reforms. Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia (see your state’s application) submitted applications and today Sec. Arne Duncan will announce the finalists.
During round 1, Delaware was awarded about $100 million and Tennessee approximately $500 million for their planned reforms. To see what Delaware and Tennessee plan to implement, see their presentations via the links below.