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ERIC Number: EJ957294
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0895-9048
Competitive Federalism and Race to the Top Application Decisions in the American States
Nicholson-Crotty, Sean; Staley, Tucker
Educational Policy, v26 n1 p160-184 Jan 2012
The Race to the Top (RTTT) program, announced by the Obama Administration in 2009, represented the largest competitive grant in the history of U.S. education. Despite the amount of money available and the dire condition of most state budgets in that year, however, some states chose not to apply for funding and the remainder submitted applications of widely divergent character. We argue in this article that the frequency and competitiveness of applications offer insight into the factors that conditioned commitment to the administration's reform agenda within each state. We use competitive federalism theory to develop expectations about the influence of those factors and test those expectations with a variety of analytic techniques. The results suggest that application decisions within the states were influenced by the level of electoral credit that politicians expected to receive from education policy generally and the amount they could receive by adhering to the specific tenets of the administration's reform agenda. These factors affected state-level decision making to a much greater degree than the actual need for federal funding. (Contains 9 notes and 4 tables.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Race to the Top