Posts Tagged District of Columbia

Race to the Top & Core Standards: Part I

What it is, How it’s Funded, Who Benefits

Here in Colorado, news is circulating about the disappointment over not being chosen as a finalist for Race to the Top funding (R2T). A number of other states are dealing with the same discouragement, left with unfunded mandates.  In earlier news, the adoption of the Common Core Standards by the Colorado State Board of Education, received very little attention.

This is my attempt to shed a little more light on these two subjects, which are really the same subject: education reform. I think most people agree that something needs to be done to improve education in America. This first part in the series will focus on the facts about R2T and Common Core Standards—what it is, how it is funded, who benefits—all crucial to understand before forming solid opinions about whether this new mandate is the something America needs.

Why does it matter? Because according to the U.S. Department of Education, it is an unprecedented federal investment in education reform and $4.35 billion dollars is a lot of money to follow.

What is Race to the Top?
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided $4.35 billion for the Race to the Top Fund.

According to the U.S. Department of Education: The $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund includes $4 billion for statewide reform grants and $350 million to support states working together to improve the quality of their assessments.

The Race to the Top state competition is designed to reward states that are leading the way in comprehensive, coherent, statewide education reform across four key areas:

  • Adopting standards (Common Core Standards) and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace;
  • Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction;
  • Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
  • Turning around their lowest-performing schools.

Phase I
Forty states and the District of Columbia submitted applications for the first phase of grants.  Delaware and Tennessee were selected from among 16 finalists.

Phase II
The 10 winning Phase II applications in alphabetical order are: the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island.  See all state applications and scores here.

For more information about the Race to the Top Fund and the requirements the states were trying to meet:
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf

Pic by: © Lucila De Avila | Dreamstime.com http://www.dreamstime.com/free-stock-image-5k-street-race-rimagefree6167867-resi2437745

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