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Knowledge From the Field


Race to the Top: What Grantmakers Can Learn From the First Round

Published: June 2010

Publisher(s): Foundation Center

Author(s): Lawrence, Steven

Funder(s): Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

View Report (8 pages; 1.57MB; PDF)

Area of focus: Education Stimulus - General

Abstract

Based on interviews with government leaders, foundation staff, and education consultants that guided and supported the first-round application process of Race to the Top, the report outlines challenges that the states faced and offers lessons on how grantmakers and government can work together going forward.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

= Many of those interviewed mentioned the exceptional level of cooperation needed across all tiers of state government and educational leadership, as well as with teachers unions and other stakeholders to compile a winning Race to the Top application.

= Some interviewees remarked that the process would not have been possible without foundation funding—particularly to pay for consultants to support under-resourced state departments of education.

= Grantmakers who hope to have input on government priorities will benefit from showing that they have the potential to be engaged and consistent long-term partners with government.

- A larger challenge cited by interviewees was the lack of a comprehensive vision for education reform in their state.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Race to the Top; education reform; state policy; private public partnership

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
Challenge

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