"Race to the Top: Executive Summary"

Race to the Top: Executive Summary is a 15-page legal document that was released by the U.S. Department of Education on November 1, 2009 and used nation-wide.

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Race to the Top Program
Executive Summary
U.S. Department of Education
Washington, D.C. 20202
November 2009
Race to the Top Executive Summary
Page 1
Race to the Top Program
Executive Summary
U.S. Department of Education
Washington, D.C. 20202
November 2009
Race to the Top Executive Summary
Page 1
―It's time to stop just talking about education reform and start actually doing it.
It's time to make education America's national mission.‖
– President Barack Obama, November 4, 2009
B
ACKGROUND
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009 (ARRA), historic legislation designed to stimulate the economy, support job creation, and invest in
critical sectors, including education. The ARRA lays the foundation for education reform by supporting
investments in innovative strategies that are most likely to lead to improved results for students, long-term
gains in school and school system capacity, and increased productivity and effectiveness.
The ARRA provides $4.35 billion for the Race to the Top Fund, a competitive grant program designed to
encourage and reward States that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform; achieving
significant improvement in student outcomes, including making substantial gains in student achievement,
closing achievement gaps, improving high school graduation rates, and ensuring student preparation for
success in college and careers; and implementing ambitious plans in four core education reform 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; and
Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.
Race to the Top will reward States that have demonstrated success in raising student achievement and have
the best plans to accelerate their reforms in the future. These States will offer models for others to follow and
will spread the best reform ideas across their States, and across the country.
K
T
EY
IMING
The Department plans to make Race to the Top grants in two phases. States that are ready to apply now may
do so in Phase 1; States that need more time may apply in Phase 2. States that apply in Phase 1 but are not
awarded grants may reapply for funding in Phase 2, together with States that are applying for the first time in
Phase 2. Phase 1 grantees may not apply for additional funding in Phase 2.
Notices Published:
November 2009
Technical Assistance:
Informational Conference Calls:
November and December 2009
Technical Assistance Workshops: December 3 in Denver, CO; December 10 in Washington, D.C.
Other Events
TBD
Applications:
Phase 1 Applications Due:
January 19, 2010
Phase 1 Awards Announced:
April 2010
Phase 2 Applications Due:
June 1, 2010
Phase 2 Awards Announced:
September 2010
Race to the Top Executive Summary
Page 2
O
P
P
VERVIEW OF
ROGRAM AND
OINTS
Selection Criteria
A. State Success Factors (125 points)
(A)(1) Articulating State’s education reform agenda and LEAs’ participation in it (65 points)
(A)(2) Building strong statewide capacity to implement, scale up, and sustain proposed plans (30 points)
(A)(3) Demonstrating significant progress in raising achievement and closing gaps (30 points)
B. Standards and Assessments (70 points)
(B)(1) Developing and adopting common standards (40 points)
(B)(2) Developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments (10 points)
(B)(3) Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-quality assessments (20 points)
C. Data Systems to Support Instruction (47 points)
(C)(1) Fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system (24 points)
(C)(2) Accessing and using State data (5 points)
(C)(3) Using data to improve instruction (18 points)
D. Great Teachers and Leaders (138 points)
(D)(1) Providing high-quality pathways for aspiring teachers and principals (21 points)
(D)(2) Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance (58 points)
(D)(3) Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals (25 points)
(D)(4) Improving the effectiveness of teacher and principal preparation programs (14 points)
(D)(5) Providing effective support to teachers and principals (20 points)
E. Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools (50 points)
(E)(1) Intervening in the lowest-achieving schools and LEAs (10 points)
ols
(E)(2) Turning around the lowest- achieving scho
(40 points)
F. General Selection Criteria (55 points)
(F)(1) Making education funding a priority (10 points)
(F)(2) Ensuring successful conditions for high-performing charters and other innovative schools (40 points)
(F)(3) Demonstrating other significant reform conditions (5 points)
Priorities
Priority 1: Absolute Priority – Comprehensive Approach to Education Reform
Priority 2: Competitive Preference Priority – Emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics (STEM) (15 points, all or nothing)
Priority 3: Invitational Priority – Innovations for Improving Early Learning Outcomes
Priority 4: Invitational Priority – Expansion and Adaptation of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems
Priority 5: Invitational Priority – P-20 Coordination, Vertical and Horizontal Alignment
Priority 6: Invitational Priority – School-Level Conditions for Reform, Innovation, and Learning
Race to the Top Executive Summary
Page 3
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
A State must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to receive funds under this
program.
(a) The State’s applications for funding under Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the State Fiscal Stabilization
Fund program must be approved by the Department prior to the State being awarded a Race to the Top
grant.
(b) At the time the State submits its application, there must not be any legal, statutory, or regulatory
barriers at the State level to linking data on student achievement (as defined in this notice) or student growth
(as defined in this notice) to teachers and principals for the purpose of teacher and principal evaluation.
PRIORITIES
Priority 1: Absolute Priority -- Comprehensive Approach to Education Reform
To meet this priority, the State’s application must comprehensively and coherently address all of the
four education reform areas specified in the ARRA as well as the State Success Factors Criteria in order to
demonstrate that the State and its participating LEAs are taking a systemic approach to education reform.
The State must demonstrate in its application sufficient LEA participation and commitment to successfully
implement and achieve the goals in its plans; and it must describe how the State, in collaboration with its
participating LEAs, will use Race to the Top and other funds to increase student achievement, decrease the
achievement gaps across student subgroups, and increase the rates at which students graduate from high
school prepared for college and careers.
Priority 2: Competitive Preference Priority -- Emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics (STEM). (15 points, all or nothing)
To meet this priority, the State’s application must have a high-quality plan to address the need to (i)
offer a rigorous course of study in mathematics, the sciences, technology, and engineering; (ii) cooperate with
industry experts, museums, universities, research centers, or other STEM-capable community partners to
prepare and assist teachers in integrating STEM content across grades and disciplines, in promoting effective
and relevant instruction, and in offering applied learning opportunities for students; and (iii) prepare more
students for advanced study and careers in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including
by addressing the needs of underrepresented groups and of women and girls in the areas of science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Priority 3: Invitational Priority – Innovations for Improving Early Learning Outcomes.
The Secretary is particularly interested in applications that include practices, strategies, or programs
to improve educational outcomes for high-need students who are young children (pre-kindergarten through
third grade) by enhancing the quality of preschool programs. Of particular interest are proposals that support
practices that (i) improve school readiness (including social, emotional, and cognitive); and (ii) improve the
transition between preschool and kindergarten.
Priority 4: Invitational Priority – Expansion and Adaptation of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems.
The Secretary is particularly interested in applications in which the State plans to expand statewide
longitudinal data systems to include or integrate data from special education programs, English language
learner programs,
early childhood programs, at-risk and dropout prevention programs, and school climate
1
and culture programs, as well as information on student mobility, human resources (i.e., information on
teachers, principals, and other staff), school finance, student health, postsecondary education, and other
The term English language learner, as used in this notice, is synonymous with the term limited English proficient, as
1
defined in section 9101 of the ESEA.
Race to the Top Executive Summary
Page 4
relevant areas, with the purpose of connecting and coordinating all parts of the system to allow important
questions related to policy, practice, or overall effectiveness to be asked, answered, and incorporated into
effective continuous improvement practices.
The Secretary is also particularly interested in applications in which States propose working together
to adapt one State’s statewide longitudinal data system so that it may be used, in whole or in part, by one or
more other States, rather than having each State build or continue building such systems independently.
Priority 5: Invitational Priority -- P-20 Coordination, Vertical and Horizontal Alignment.
The Secretary is particularly interested in applications in which the State plans to address how early
childhood programs, K-12 schools, postsecondary institutions, workforce development organizations, and
other State agencies and community partners (e.g., child welfare, juvenile justice, and criminal justice agencies)
will coordinate to improve all parts of the education system and create a more seamless preschool-through-
graduate school (P-20) route for students. Vertical alignment across P-20 is particularly critical at each point
where a transition occurs (e.g., between early childhood and K-12, or between K-12 and
postsecondary/careers) to ensure that students exiting one level are prepared for success, without
remediation, in the next. Horizontal alignment, that is, coordination of services across schools, State
agencies, and community partners, is also important in ensuring that high-need students (as defined in this
notice) have access to the broad array of opportunities and services they need and that are beyond the
capacity of a school itself to provide.
Priority 6: Invitational Priority -- School-Level Conditions for Reform, Innovation, and Learning.
The Secretary is particularly interested in applications in which the State’s participating LEAs (as
defined in this notice) seek to create the conditions for reform and innovation as well as the conditions for
learning by providing schools with flexibility and autonomy in such areas as--
(i) Selecting staff;
(ii) Implementing new structures and formats for the school day or year that result in increased
learning time (as defined in this notice);
(iii) Controlling the school’s budget;
(iv) Awarding credit to students based on student performance instead of instructional time;
(v) Providing comprehensive services to high-need students (as defined in this notice) (e.g., by
mentors and other caring adults; through local partnerships with community-based organizations, nonprofit
organizations, and other providers);
(vi) Creating school climates and cultures that remove obstacles to, and actively support, student
engagement and achievement; and
(vii) Implementing strategies to effectively engage families and communities in supporting the
academic success of their students.
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