On March 19th, the year three Race to the Top state progress reports for the District of Columbia and the 11 states that received grants in the first two rounds of the program: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Tennessee were released by the U.S. Department of Education. They reflect reporting done for the school year of 2012/2013.
The reports show the progress that each state has made against their original plan they set forth at the beginning of the program. States are only compared to the standards they specified in their plans. The report shows a number of Race to the Top states that demonstrated encouraging signs of progress with improved scores on national benchmarks and access to more rigorous course work and resources.
With the four year anniversary of Race to the Top approaching, states are implementing their unique plans, built around four assurance areas: implementing college- and career-ready standards and assessments, building robust data systems to improve instruction, supporting great teachers and school leaders, and turning around persistently low-performing schools. Strategic investments made include:
- developing tools and resources for educators, students and parents
- launching state-level support networks
- developing additional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) schools or programs
- launching of new pipelines for teachers and leaders
- supporting key efforts to turn around low-performing schools
- implementing teacher and principal evaluations
The Department's Implementation and Support Unit (ISU) has been working with states to track progress and provide feedback as they implement large-scale reform. In addition to the year two state reports, the Department posted Annual Performance Report (APR) data from states that received Race to the Top funding in phases one, two and three. This allows real time progress to be tracked by the Department and the public.
The Department's fiscal year 2015 budget request includes $300 million for a new Race to the Top Equity and Opportunity competition.
For more information about the Race to the Top program, to review the year two reports and analyze more APR data, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html.