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ERIC Number: ED509500
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan-26
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Smarter Path to a "Race to the Top" in Education Reform. WebMemo. No. 2779
Lips, Dan
Heritage Foundation
The Obama Administration has signaled that it will include a $1.35 billion expansion of the "Race to the Top" (RTTT) fund in its FY 2011 budget. This is in addition to the $4.35 billion for RTTT included in last year's stimulus bill. Under the Department of Education's (DOE) guidelines for RTTT, states must meet certain requirements to be eligible for a share of these competitive grants. RTTT is based on the theory that incentives and guidelines provided by the DOE can spur effective education reforms by state governments and school districts. Past experience with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) shows that strengthening federal control may result in a number of unintended consequences. Instead of expanding federal power through the RTTT fund, Congress and the Administration should implement structural reforms of current Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) programs to enable and encourage effective bottom-up reforms. This can be accomplished in the following ways: (1) Granting states real flexibility and autonomy over federal programs and funds; (2) Requiring transparency and oversight about state academic performance and governance; and (3) Rewarding academic success rather than legislative compliance if federal incentives are offered. (Contains 10 footnotes.)
Heritage Foundation. 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 202-546-4400; Fax: 202-546-8328; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress