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Ramping Up Race to the Top

Published March 23, 2011

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One of the Obama Administration’s most promising—and underappreciated—initiatives is Race to the Top, an education reform effort that has spurred a quiet but dramatic transformation among public schools across the country in just the past two years. Not only has Race to the Top sparked innovation and collaboration across America, it has created significant momentum for improving public schools and has worked to break the stalemate among stakeholders in education. This memo argues that Race to the Top’s immense future potential outweighs any of the program’s early flaws, and the authorization and expansion of this important program is critical. Programs such as Race to the Top are a prototype for the types of reforms that America’s public schools will need to ensure that our nation’s children are ready to face the global economy and succeed.

Overview

A New Frontier in Education Reform

Ten years after the enactment of the landmark education reform bill, No Child Left Behind, President Obama announced his own signature education initiative, Race to the Top. It required students, teachers, and states to strive for excellence in education.

“We said to states, if you are committed to outstanding teaching, to successful schools, to higher standards, to better assessments—if you’re committed to excellence for all children—you will be eligible for a [Race to the Top] grant to help you attain that goal…. So Race to the Top, isn’t simply the name of an initiative. It sums up what’s happening in our schools. It’s the single most ambitious, meaningful education reform effort we’ve attempted in this country in generations.”1

-President Obama, July 29, 2010

In November 2009, Secretary Arne Duncan announced the Race to the Top program, a $4.35 billion program authorized by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.2 The purpose of Race to the Top was to spur state-wide education reform by creating financial incentives for states in the form of competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Education. In particular, the program put a focus on the adoption of standards and assessments aimed at college and career readiness skills; the creation and expansion of data systems that measure student academic growth; improving professional development for teachers; and turning around the lowest performing schools.3

In total, 46 states and the District of Columbia submitted applications for the Race to the Top Fund.4 Over two rounds of applications, the winners included the District of Columbia and the following 11 states: Delaware, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island.5

Of the nearly $4 billion awarded to states through Race to the Top,6 only $43 million has been disbursed.7 Therefore, much of the visible effects of Race to the Top are yet to come. The President asked for $900 million in his 2012 budget to continue and expand the program,8 but the future of this program is in doubt. In December 2010, the House of Representatives approved only $550 million for another round of Race to the Top, but the Senate did not act on this measure.9 With Republicans regaining the majority in the House of Representatives in November 2010, Representative John Kline (R-MN) has taken over as chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee. Chairman Kline has been outspoken about his opposition towards additional funding for Race to the Top.10 With conservative leaders calling for non-discretionary spending reductions to 2008 levels,11 additional funding for Race to the Top—and the bold education innovations that would stem from it—is in serious jeopardy.

What follows are three sections analyzing Race to the Top. The first describes major impacts of the program on education reform. The second addresses selected critiques and provides responses to those critiques, and the third discusses the positive impact that another round of Race to the Top would have on education reform.

Race to the Top

Three Major Impacts

In the decade since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the debate over education reform has threatened to stall, but Race to the Top has shown potential for restarting the engine of reform.

As the chart below shows, the program, despite its criticisms, has produced tremendous change in states that applied for the funding, including states that won the funding and states that did not.

Examples of Race to the Top Education Reforms and Proposals

Chart endnotes: 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Impact #1: Shifting the Focus From Failure to Success

Race to the Top (RTTT) has helped to shift the nationwide discussion on public education from one of failure and baseline standards under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to one of excellence and raising expectations for students, teachers, and schools. In particular, RTTT highlights and rewards states that are making bold legislative changes and are demonstrating the importance of setting a high bar for student achievement.

Over the past decade, many parts of public education have been labeled “failures,” and in poll after poll, Americans give the nation’s public schools a low grade.24 Some of this language of failure is due to No Child Left Behind. Under NCLB, schools that fail to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) in consecutive years are labeled as “needing improvement,”25 even if the struggles of only one student subgroup is the reason for not meeting AYP. In contrast, states received more points on their Race to the Top applications for adopting common curriculum standards, collaborating with local stakeholders, and implementing state-wide longitudinal data systems to track student growth.26

Although NCLB cast needed light on schools that were falling significantly behind, the legislation allowed states to set their own standards and benchmarks for performance in reading and math.27 This led to many states establishing arbitrary benchmarks for performance in order to ensure that 100% of a state’s students would be proficient in math and reading by 2014 as required under NCLB.28 As a result, there are now 50 different sets of standards nationwide, with varying levels of expectations for students. Race to the Top, however, rewards states for adopting the Common Core State Standards,29 a nationwide effort led by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers to set higher and consistent standards for public school students so that they will be ready to succeed in college and in a career.30 By setting benchmarks that are consistent across the nation and raise the bar of expectations for student performance, Race to the Top has helped to shift the focus from failing to excelling—a small, but important change in how we view our public schools.

Impact #2: From Adversaries to Allies

Another significant impact of Race to the Top is that it encouraged collaboration between stakeholder groups, including unions, to support and enact education reforms.

Many times in public education, the teachers unions are pitted against education reformers who are pitted against state legislators, and somewhere in the middle of it all, teachers are educating our children. However, Race to the Top promoted collaboration between the groups that are sometimes portrayed as enemies. For example, the Prince George’s County, Maryland affiliate of the National Education Association took a bold step and signed onto the state’s RTTT application when unions from neighboring counties declined to endorse the state’s bid.31 In Rhode Island, union endorsement for the state’s application was increased from the state’s first round application to the second round application through the efforts of the Rhode Island Department of Education to improve transparency and outreach to local unions and school districts.32

In the RTTT scoring process, states received up to 55 additional points for ensuring broad stakeholder support and securing Local Education Agency participation,33 and each of the winning states garnered large support from a majority of districts. First round winners, Tennessee and Delaware, were able to secure support from 100% of their school districts, school superintendents, and school boards.34 Delaware received 100% support from their local teachers unions, and Tennessee had 93% of their local unions signing onto the application.35 Although no one can guarantee that this collaboration will continue for years to come, RTTT should be recognized for bringing these groups together.

Impact #3: An Innovation Explosion

Finally, Race to the Top helped make education reform happen. Proposed improvements and innovations to public education that had been languishing in state capitols across the U.S. were finally enacted because of the encouragement of a carrot, funds from Race to the Top, rather than the threat of a stick, sanctions under No Child Left Behind.

Over the past two years, more reforms to public education have occurred than in the preceding two years, and the financial incentive provided by Race to the Top helped spur these dramatic education policy changes at the state level. In 2009 and 2010, 28 states made reforms, more than triple the number of states making policy changes in 2007 and 2008.36 Here are a few examples of the innovative reforms made during the past two years:

  • Adoption of Common Core State Standards. Under NCLB, states were required to establish and create assessments based on a set of standards in math and reading, but each state was allowed to establish their own standards and definition of proficiency in each subject.37 This has led to 50 different sets of standards across the U.S., some which set high bars for performance and some which set very low bars. Under RTTT, states were given additional points for adopting the Common Core State Standards, a state-led initiative aimed at providing consistent, high-quality framework of standards.38 Currently, 44 states and the District of Columbia have formally adopted the Common Core State Standards, including all 12 winners of RTTT.39 Although the initiative is formally separate from Race to the Top, the program did help accelerate adoption of these standards in some states.
  • Expansion of charter schools. Some charter schools have been the greenhouses for educational innovation over the past decade, but many states have set arbitrary caps on the number of charters schools that can exist in the state, hindering education options for students and potential innovations in education. Race to the Top encouraged states to remove these caps, and as a result, the number of charter schools nationwide has grown significantly. Thirty-two states plan to open at least one charter school in 2011 and states like Ohio and New York, winners of RTTT, are slated to open over 30 charters each.40
  • Improvements to teacher evaluation programs. Research continues to show that one of the most important aspects of academic success is having a highly effective teacher.41 But in order to determine quality and effectiveness, we need better systems to evaluate teachers. Teacher evaluations took a giant step forward because of Race to the Top’s requirement to include student achievement in the evaluation of teachers, once a rarity across the U.S.42 In fact, over the past two years, eleven states passed legislation to require some inclusion of student achievement in teacher evaluations.43 Although there are valid concerns in basing all of a teacher’s evaluation on achievement scores, Race to the Top forced a necessary conversation across the nation on what is a fair way to evaluate teachers.
  • Innovations in teacher development. Not only is it important to evaluate teachers so that they know where they can improve, it’s imperative that teachers are provided with the professional development to take their skills to the next level. One of the core principles of Race to the Top was the expansion of professional development for educators.44 For example, several winning states, including Tennessee, included the use of the UTeach model in their applications.45 The UTeach model partners teachers with universities to provide professional development and preparation in the STEM fields.46

There is valid concern as to whether states can maintain these reforms and follow through on all of the proposals contained within their Race to the Top applications.47 The Department of Education should make it one of its top priorities to closely monitor the implementation process of the states that won funding and take corrective action if a state is not following through with their application’s promised reforms in a reasonable time period.

Race to the Top

Defending Against Common Criticisms

Race to the Top is not without its critics, but although no program is perfect, the benefits of Race to the Top far outweigh the negatives of the program. These critiques should not overshadow the significant progress that has been made in education over the past two years because of Race to the Top, and the tremendous potential another round of Race to the Top has on continuing innovation in education should not be hindered. Moreover, many of the criticisms aimed at Race to the Top are focused on eminently fixable problems surrounding the application and implementation processes—not the structure and philosophy of the program itself.


CRITIQUE: Rural states were at a disadvantage in the application process.

RESPONSE: Create a carve-out for rural applicants.

Many rural states have valid concerns about the feasibility of meeting the Race to the Top application criteria in rural locations.48 For example, many rural districts have a difficult time recruiting school administrators to their schools as is, and if a district had to implement a school turnaround model that included the replacement of school administrators, many rural districts fear they would have a difficult time finding someone to replace principals they let go.49 Additionally, for some small school districts that only have one school for elementary through high school, establishing an alternative charter school is not realistic.50 With the glaring lack of Race to the Top winners from Western states, there is valid concern that some of the RTTT criteria should be tweaked in the future in order for implementation to be more realistic for rural areas.

In President Obama’s FY 2012 budget announcement, $900 million for a school-district level Race to the Top was included in the U.S. Department of Education’s budget.51 This proposal would include a specific carve out of funds for rural districts to compete for. Therefore, rural districts with more limited resources would not have to compete against larger, urban school districts for funding.

CRITIQUE: Competitive grants advantage large, affluent school district over smaller, less affluent ones.

RESPONSE: The vast bulk of education funding remains formula-based.

Another common critique of Race to the Top is the competitive nature of the funding because, the critics claim, it creates a system of winners and losers.52 Critics challenge the idea that federal education funding should be allocated based on winning a competition rather than on need,53 which is how Title I funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are dispersed.54 In particular, there was concern that more and more education funds would be dispersed through a competitive grant.55 However, the $4.35 billion in funds designated for the first two rounds of Race to the Top is small compared to the $14.5 billion that is allocated to schools through Title I each year56 and the almost $600 billion in total annual education expenditures.57 Additionally, it is important to note Race to the Top requires winning states to distribute at least 50% of RTTT funds through the Title I formula.58

CRITIQUE: Race to the Top is a federal intrusion into state and local control of education.

RESPONSE: States decide whether to compete, and states decide what reforms to pursue.

Some on the right have criticized Race to the Top because, they claim, it inherently creates more federal control of education. For example, the state of Texas did not participate in the application process because Governor Rick Perry feared that the program would become an “unfunded mandate.”59 Like Texas, it was up to each individual state to make the decision whether or not to apply for the funding. For the states that did apply, they could develop their own reform plan that met the criteria of the application.

Each state already receives approximately 9% of education funds from the federal government,60 and states are required to meet certain federal requirements mandated by No Child Left Behind as a result of receiving Title I funds.61 Therefore, Race to the Top creates no more federal control over education than already exists, and it provided the states that won more funding to better educate their students.

Expanding the Winners’ Circle

The Benefits of a Race to the Top 3.0

Through both rounds of the Race to the Top competition, 46 states and the District of Columbia applied for funding.62 With 35 states applying and not receiving funding, this leaves a great potential for more education reforms to occur through an additional round of Race to the Top. This potential should be maximized by including $1.35 billion in funding for Race to the Top in Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations in order to keep the reform momentum going.

Reward More States and Districts

If the competition is opened up to school districts to apply, innovative school districts such as New Orleans, Denver, Chicago, and Austin could have access to funding from Race to the Top along with states. President Obama’s FY 2012 budget creates a Race to the Top program specifically for school districts in order to reward education reforms that are occurring on the district level as well.63 The President’s competition, if funding is authorized by Congress, will also allow rural school districts compete for funds in a special category for such districts.

An additional round of Race to the Top could reward more states which are continuing innovative education reforms. For example, non-winners like Illinois and Colorado continue to try to implement reforms based on the Race to the Top criteria. In January 2011, the Illinois state senate held hearings regarding legislation that would link teacher tenure to student achievement and limit teachers’ right to strike.64 Additionally, Colorado plans to implement the state’s new teacher evaluation systems as a pilot program in the 2012-2013 school year with statewide implementation in 2013-2014.65

Continue the Shift toward Excellence in Public Education

The passage and enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2002 brought a new level of much-needed accountability and transparency to public education, but in doing so, it also helped perpetuate the language of “failure” in U.S. public education. Schools that did not reach adequate yearly progress were designated as “failing” schools. Currently 33% of schools in the U.S. have been labeled as needing improvement, and this percentage is expected to increase if No Child Left Behind is not changed.66

The Race to the Top program changed the way many Americans view public education. It raised the bar of expectations for students, teachers, and schools, and it encouraged innovative approaches and reforms to public education. As Congress moves into reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, it’s important not to forget this shift from failure to excellence. Congress should consider including the Race to the Top program in the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind to ensure this successful program will spur educational innovation in the future.












































  1. United States, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “Remarks by the President on Education Reform at the National Urban League Centennial Conference,” July 29, 2010, Accessed on February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-education-reform-national-urban-league-centennial-conference.

  2. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, “Race to the Top Program Executive Summary,” November 2009, Accessed on January 3, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf.

  3. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, “Race to the Top Program Executive Summary,” November 2009, Accessed on January 3, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf.

  4.  “Nine States and the District of Columbia Win Second Round Race to the Top Grants,” Press Release, United States, Department of Education, August 24, 2010, Accessed on January 5, 2011. Available at: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/nine-states-and-district-columbia-win-second-round-race-top-grants.

  5. “Nine States and the District of Columbia Win Second Round Race to the Top Grants,” Press Release, United States, Department of Education, August 24, 2010, Accessed on January 5, 2011. Available at: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/nine-states-and-district-columbia-win-second-round-race-top-grants.The results of Round 2 caused some controversy as two states, which many education experts believed to be top contenders, Colorado and Louisiana, did not receive funds. Some in Colorado blame the loss of funding on the Colorado Education Association and other local teachers unions because they did not sign onto the Race to the Top application or support the recently enacted law that tied teacher evaluations to student achievement. In fact, only 5% of local unions signed on to the application after the Colorado Education Association withdrew their support. However, the American Federation of Teachers affiliate in Colorado did support the application and the law. For more information, see: Sean Cavanagh, Stephen Sawchuk, and Sarah D. Sparks, “Race to Top Winners Rejoice, Losers Parse Scores,” The Education Week, August 24, 2010, Vol. 30, Issue 2, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/08/24/02rtt.h30.html; See also Nancy Mitchell, “Analysis: Colorado’s lost points in Race to the Top,” The Education News Colorado, August 26, 2010, Accessed on January 6, 2011. Available at: http://www.ednewscolorado.org/2010/08/26/7613-analysis-colorados-lost-points-in-race-to-the-top; See also Jeremy P. Meyer and Jessica Fender, “‘Race to the Top’ judges perplexed by local control, O’Brien says,” The Denver Post, August 25, 2010, Accessed on January 5, 2011. Available at: http://www.denverpost.com/education/ci_15877701.

  6. Sam Dillon, “Eastern States Dominate in Winning School Grants,” The New York Times, August 24, 2010, p. A3, Accessed February 18, 2011. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/education/25schools.html?_r=2.

  7. United States, Department of Education, “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – Spending Report by Program, As of February 18, 2011,” February 28, 2011, Accessed on February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/spending/program.xls

  8. United States, The White House, Office of Management and Budget, The Budget, “Department of Education,” p. 68, February 14, 2011, Accessed on February 14, 2011. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/education.pdf.

  9. Sam Dillon, “New Challenges for Obama’s Education Agenda in the Face of a G.O.P.-Led House,” The New York Times, December 11, 2010, p. A36, Accessed on February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/us/politics/12education.html.

  10. Sam Dillon, “New Challenges for Obama’s Education Agenda in the Face of a G.O.P.-Led House,” The New York Times, December 11, 2010, p. A36, Accessed on February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/us/politics/12education.html.

  11. Lori Montgomery, “House GOP group proposes deep spending cuts over next decade,” The Washington Post, January 21, 2011, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/20/AR2011012002878.html.

  12. Dakarai Aarons, “Tennessee Targets Teaching with Race to the Top Winnings,” The Education Week, April 2, 2010, Vol. 29, Issue 28, p. 28, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/04/02/28stim-tenn_ep.h29.html.

  13. Lesli Maxwell, “Race to the Top Win Poses $100 Million Test for Delaware,” The Education Week, April 2, 2010, Vol. 29, Issue 28, p. 29, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/04/02/28stim-del_ep.h29.html.

  14. Chienyi Cheri Hung, “The Sweet Sixteen: Race to the Top First-Round Finalists Snapshots,” The Education Week, Schools and the Stimulus Blog, March 10, 2010, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/infographics/racetotop_finalists.html.

  15. Erik Robelen, “Race to Top Winners Embed STEM Projects in Plans,” The Education Week, September 9, 2010, Vol. 30, Issue 3, p. 6, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/09/09/03stem.h30.html.

  16. Jean Satterfield, Assistant State Superintendent for Certification and Accreditation, Maryland State Department of Education, “State is Overhauling Teacher Certification,” The Baltimore Sun, December 22, 2010, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-teacher-certificaiton-letter-20101222,0,7998575.story; See also Stephen Sawchuk, “Momentum Builds to Restructure Teacher Education,” The Education Week, Vol. 30, Issue 13, November 17, 2010, Accessed February 9, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/11/17/13teacherprep.h30.html.

  17. Dakarai Aarons, “State, District Leaders Press School Transformations,” The Education Week, March 16, 2010, Vol. 29, Issue 25, pp. 1, 12, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/03/17/25transformation_ep.h29.html

  18. Jennifer Medina, “State Senate Approves Bill to Increase Charter Schools,” The New York Times, May 3, 2010, p. A28, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/nyregion/04charter.html?_r=1.

  19. Sean Cavanagh, “North Carolina Wins over Districts on Race to Top,” The Education Week, State EdWatch Blog, December 3, 2010, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/state_edwatch/2010/12/another_state_perspective_on_race_to_top_north_carolina.html.

  20. Ian Quillen, “Analysis Notes Virtual Ed. Priorities in RTT Winners,” The Education Week, September 14, 2010, Vol. 30, Issue 3, p. 12, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/09/15/03online_ep-2.h30.html.

  21. Sean Cavanagh, Stephen Sawchuk, and Sarah D. Sparks, “Race to Top Winners Rejoice, Losers Parse Scores,” The Education Week, August 24, 2010, Vol. 30, Issue 2, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/08/24/02rtt.h30.html.

  22. Chienyi Cheri Hung, “The Sweet Sixteen: Race to the Top First-Round Finalists Snapshots,” The Education Week, Schools and the Stimulus Blog, March 10, 2010, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/infographics/racetotop_finalists.html.

  23. The Associated Press, “Colorado Teacher-Evaluation Bill Enacted,” The Education Week, May 18, 2010, Volume 29, Issue 32, p. 24, Accessed February 8, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/05/19/32colorado.h29.html.

  24. “What Americans Said About the Public Schools,” Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup, September 2010, Vol. 92, No. 1, p. 14, Accessed January 28, 2011. Available at: http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/docs/2010_Poll_Report.pdf.

  25. United States, Federal Register, “Title I--Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged; Final Rule,” Vol. 27, No. 231, pp. 71709-71771, December 2, 2002, Accessed January 28, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2002-4/120202a.html.

  26. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, “Appendix B: Scoring Rubric,” p. 2 January 2010, Accessed January 28, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/scoringrubric.pdf.

  27. Sarah D. Sparks, “States Set Widely Varying ‘Proficiency’ Bars,” The Education Week, October 25, 2010, Vol. 30, Issue 10, Accessed February 18, 2011. Available at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/10/25/10air.h30.htm.

  28. “Adequate Yearly Progress,” The Education Week, September 10, 2004, Accessed January 28, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/adequate-yearly-progress/.

  29. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, “Appendix B: Scoring Rubric,” p. 2 January 2010, Accessed January 28, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/scoringrubric.pdf.

  30. For more information about the Common Core State Standards Initiative, see “Common Core State Standards Initiative: Preparing Americans Students for College & Career,” Available at: http://www.corestandards.org/.

  31. Nick Anderson, “Prince Georges signs onto Race to the Top,” The Washington Post, Post Now Blog, June 1, 2010, Accessed February 10, 2010. Available at: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-breaking-news/maryland/pr-geo-signs-onto-race-to-the.html.

  32. Michele McNeil, “Race to the Top Buy-In Level Examined,” The Education Week, June 16, 2010, Vol. 29, Issue 35, pp. 1,32-33, Accessed February 10, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/06/16/35buyin_ep.h29.html.

  33. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, “Appendix B: Scoring Rubric,” p. 2 January 2010, Accessed January 28, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/scoringrubric.pdf.

  34. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, Phase 1 Applications, “Tennessee,” p. 23, January 18, 2010, Accessed January 25, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1-applications/tennessee.pdf; See also United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, Phase 1 Applications, “Delaware,” p. A-14, January 19, 2010, Accessed February 4, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1-applications/delaware.pdf.

  35. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, Phase 1 Applications, “Tennessee,” p. 23, January 18, 2010, Accessed January 25, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1-applications/tennessee.pdf; See also United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, Phase 1 Applications, “Delaware,” p. A-14, January 19, 2010, Accessed February 4, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1-applications/delaware.pdf.

  36. Chad Aldeman, “How Race to the Top could Inform ESEA Reauthorization,” The Education Week, June 29, 2010, Accessed January 11, 2011. Available at: http://www.educationsector.org/publications/how-race-top-could-inform-esea-reauthorization.

  37. David J. Hoff, “Not All Agree on Meaning of NCLB Proficiency,” The Education Week, April 18, 2007, Vol. 26, Issue 33, pp. 1, 23, Accessed February 3, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2007/04/18/33proficient.h26.html.

  38. Catherine Gewertz, “A Message for Common Standards in Race to Top Guidance?,” The Education Week, Curriculum Matters Blog, January 11, 2011, Accessed January 11, 2011. Available at: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2011/01/guidance_on_rtt_--_httpwwwedwe.html; See also the Common Core State Standards Initiative, see “Common Core State Standards Initiative: Preparing Americans Students for College & Career,” Available at: http://www.corestandards.org/.

  39. “In the States,” Common Core State Standards Initiative, Accessed January 11, 2011. Available at: http://www.corestandards.org/in-the-states.

  40. “National Charter School and Enrollment Statistics 2010,” Center for Education Reform, October 2010, Accessed January 11, 2011. Available at: http://edreform.com/_upload/CER_charter_numbers.pdf.

  41. “Teacher Evaluations 2.0,” Report, The New Teacher Project, October 2010, p. 2, Accessed February 3, 2011. Available at: http://tntp.org/files/Teacher-Evaluation-Oct10F.pdf.

  42. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, “Race to the Top Program Executive Summary,” p. 9, November 2009, Accessed on January 3, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf.

  43. Michele McNeil, “Mixed Report Card for Education Stimulus After 2 Years,” The Education Week, February 12, 2011, Vol. 30, Issue 21, Accessed February 17, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/02/12/20stim-overview_ep.h30.html?qs=teacher evaluation legislation.

  44. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, “Race to the Top Program Executive Summary,” pp. 9-10, November 2009, Accessed on January 3, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf.

  45. Erik W. Robelen, “STEM Plans Embedded in Winning Proposals for Race to the Top,” The Education Week, Vol. 30, Issue 3, p. 6, September 9, 2010, Accessed January 27, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/09/09/03stem.h30.html.

  46. “What is UTeach?,” The UTeach Institute, Accessed January 27, 2011. Available at: http://uteach-institute.org/uteach.

  47. Jennifer Cohen, “Key Challenges in Implementing Race to the Top,” Ed Money Watch Blog, New America Foundation, October 28, 2010, Accessed on February 10, 2011. Available at: http://edmoney.newamerica.net/blogposts/2010/key_challenges_in_implementing_race_to_the_top-39165.

  48. Sam Dillon, “Eastern States Dominate in Winning School Grants,” The New York Times, August 3, 2010, p. A3, Accessed on February 10, 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/education/25schools.html.

  49. Sam Dillon, “Eastern States Dominate in Winning School Grants,” The New York Times, August 3, 2010, p. A3, Accessed on February 10, 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/education/25schools.html.

  50. Sam Dillon, “Eastern States Dominate in Winning School Grants,” The New York Times, August 3, 2010, p. A3, Accessed on February 10, 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/education/25schools.html.

  51. United States, The White House, Office of Management and Budget, The Budget, “Department of Education,” p. 68, February 14, 2011, Accessed on February 18, 2011. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/education.pdf.

  52. Imani Cheers, “’Race to the Top’ Aims to Overhaul the U.S. Education System,” The PBS NewsHour Extra, August 4, 2010, Accessed February 9, 2011. Available at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec10/race_08-04.html.

  53. Sam Dillon, “Eastern States Dominate in Winning School Grants,” The New York Times, August 3, 2010, p. A3, Accessed on February 10, 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/education/25schools.html.

  54. United States, Department of Education, “Title I – Improving The Academic Achievement Of The Disadvantaged,” September 15, 2004, Accessed on February 28, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg1.html.

  55. Stephen Sawchuk, “Teachers’ Unions Slam Obama K-12 Budget Proposals,” The Education Week, March 17, 2010, Vol. 29, Issue 27, Accessed February 18, 2011. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/03/17/27appropriations.h29.html.

  56. Center on Education Policy, “Big Money for School Improvement: Title I School Improvement Funds Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and the Fiscal Year 2009 Appropriations,” April 13, 2009, Accessed January 26, 2011. Available at http://www.cep-dc.org/index.cfm?DocumentSubSubTopicID=30.

  57. United States, Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, “Digest of Education Statistics: 2009,” April 2010, Accessed February 18, 2011. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/ch_2.asp.

  58. United States, Department of Education, Race to the Top Fund, “Eligibility,” November 24, 2009, Accessed on February 10, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/eligibility.html.

  59. Imani Cheers, “’Race to the Top’ Aims to Overhaul the U.S. Education System,” The PBS NewsHour Extra, August 4, 2010, Accessed February 9, 2011. Available at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/us/july-dec10/race_08-04.html. See also Sam Dillon, “Texas Shuts Door on Millions in Education Grants,” The New York Times, January 14, 2010, p. A22, Accessed on February 17, 2011. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/education/14texas.html.

  60. United States, Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Education Finance Statistics Center, “Percentage distribution of revenues for public elementary and secondary education in the United States, by source,” Accessed February 18, 2011. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/edfin/graph_topic.asp?INDEX=4.

  61. 20 USC Sec., 6301, 2001, Accessed February 18, 2011. Available at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ110.107. See also: United States, Department of Education, “ NCLB Title I: Part A — Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies,” Accessed February 18, 2011. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg2.html#sec1111.

  62. “Nine States and the District of Columbia Win Second Round Race to the Top Grants,” Press Release, United States, Department of Education, August 24, 2010, Accessed on January 5, 2011. Available at: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/nine-states-and-district-columbia-win-second-round-race-top-grants.

  63. United States, The White House, Office of Management and Budget, The Budget, “Department of Education,” p. 68, February 14, 2011, Accessed on February 18, 2011. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/education.pdf.

  64. Stephanie Banchero, “Illinois Attempts to Link Teacher Tenure to Results,” The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2011, Accessed January 11, 2011. Available at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576060122295287678.html.

  65. “Educator Effectiveness Bill: Frequently Asked Questions,” The Colorado Department of Education, November 29, 2010, Accessed on January 11, 2011. Available at: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdegen/downloads/SB%20191/SB191FAQ(11.29.10).pdf.

  66. Alexandra Usher, “How Many Schools and Districts Have Not Made Adequate Yearly Progress? Four-Year Trends,” Report, Center for Education Policy, December 2010, Accessed January 26, 2011. Available at: http://www.cep-dc.org/index.cfm?DocumentSubSubTopicID=8.

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