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ERIC Number: ED535605
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 84
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Race to the Top: What Have We Learned from the States So Far? A State-by-State Evaluation of Race to the Top Performance
Boser, Ulrich
Center for American Progress
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The law had a very simple mission: kick-start an economic recovery through strategic investment. Deep within the law were a number of key education initiatives, including Race to the Top (RTT), which was a way to invest in the nation's education system and spur efforts to reform schools. To apply for a grant, states had to submit a detailed application and the Department of Education rewarded points if the application met certain criteria and policies. Applications for Phase 1 of the program were due in early 2010 and 40 states and the District of Columbia applied for funding, with Delaware and Tennessee winning grants in the first round. Phase II winners were announced in September 2010. In the end there were 12 winners in the second round of the program, including the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island. Given the importance of RTT the author and his team wanted to take a closer look and get a better sense of what exactly was happening within the states that won the grants in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the program. They wanted to determine what's going well? And what's going wrong? Were the states on track to meet all of the goals detailed in their grants? How has Department of Education helped or hindered implementation? And finally, what lessons could be drawn for future federal education initiatives? To answer these questions, a team of researchers was enlisted to dig deep into each state's RTT efforts. The team spoke to key stakeholders, examined various budget and implementation documents, and sifted through performance data provided by the Department of Education. As part of their evaluation effort, they also evaluated the states based on their performance, benchmarking their success against a set of key indicators. Overall, they found that although a lot of work remains to be done, RTT has sparked significant school reform efforts and demonstrates that significant policy changes are possible. Full methodology and list of sources for Race to the Top implementation table is appended. (Contains 58 endnotes.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009; Race to the Top
IES Cited: ED559916