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Race to the Top Year Two Progress Reports Released


February 1, 2013

By: Brendan

The Department of Education today released state-specific progress reports for 12 grantees from the department’s Race to the Top (RTTT) program.

The RTTT is a competitive funding program for states to advance reforms in college- and career-ready standards and assessments, data systems to manage student growth and success, the recruitment and development of effective teachers and turnaround for low-performing schools. The program was authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the department distributed the program’s first grants in 2010.

The reports released today highlight the progress each grantee has made in the second year since receiving an RTTT grant, as well as goals for year three of the program. While states did make progress in some areas of their proposals, there were also areas in which they fell short of their goals and predictions.

For instance, the state of Hawaii was able to improve student proficiency on the state’s English language arts and mathematics assessments from the 2010-2011 school year to the 2011-2012 school year.  The state, however, was unable to come to an agreement on teacher effectiveness evaluations, which has left it labeled as a high-risk program by the U.S. Department of Education for the second year in a row.

On the other hand, the state of Ohio has been able to implement pilot evaluation programs, transition the state’s curriculum to the Common Core State Standards and create a state high school and higher education committee to align college and career standards with college and university entrance requirements. Remaining challenges in the state are data integration, student test scores and communication between the state and local educational agencies.

Each state’s progress varies based on their individual state reform plans and a variety of outside influences. States receiving RTTT grants continually work with the Department of Education to adjust and improve their reform plans on an individual basis. 

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