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Knowledge From the Field

Interpreting “Race to the Top” TNTP Summary & Analysis of USDE Draft Guidelines

Published: September 2009

Publisher(s): The New Teacher Project

View Report (38 pages; 382KB; PDF)

Area of Focus:  Education Stimulus - General


This report outlines the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) “Race to the Top” Fund (RTT) application and selection process, summarizes the USDE application and overall selection criteria for RTT funding, and provides a checklist that states and districts can use to determine their own eligibility based on the four assurance areas and overall selection criteria. The report also provides a criteria summary for each of the four assurance areas­­—standards and assessments, data systems to support instruction, great teachers and leaders, and turning around struggling schools—and provides an analysis of states’ current competitiveness for RTT funding.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

= States should be ready to identify specific areas of progress in each of the four assurance areas and demonstrate gains in student achievement as a result of that progress.

= States should be prepared to demonstrate statewide support from a broad coalition of stakeholders (e.g., state and local teachers union leadership, local education agencies and charter schools, and leaders in the community).

= States should plan to use RTT funding to support measurable and significant gains in student achievement and reduction in achievement gaps, as measured by the National Assessment of Education Progress.

= States should be prepared to identify and allocate permanent sources of funding to continue reforms after the end of the grant.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: ARRA funds; Race to the Top Fund (RTT); R2T; teacher quality; accountability; low-performing schools; leadership; school reform; improving student achievement; evaluation systems; teacher effectiveness; standards and assessments; data systems

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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