|Race to the Top Grant
||State Education Agencies
July 2009 – USDOE proposes rules with 30-day comment period
Nov. 2009 - notice and guidance published
Jan. 19, 2010 – Phase 1 applications due
April 2010 – Phase 1 awards announced,
May 4, 2010 – Phase 2 Intent to Apply
June 1, 2010 – Phase 2 applications due
Sept. 2010 – Phase 2 awards announced
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Description of Fund
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides $4.35 billion for Race to the Top, a competitive grant program designed to encourage and reward states that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform; achieving significant improvement in student outcomes, including making substantial gains in student achievement, closing achievement gaps, improving high school graduation rates, and ensuring student preparation for success in college and careers.
Guidelines released from the U.S. Department of Education are very prescriptive in terms of centering the reform work on four specific areas: standards and assessments; data systems to support instruction; great teachers and leaders; and turning around the lowest-achieving schools. Each assurance is focused on deep and systemic reform.
- The standards and assessments assurance includes the adoption of internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace.
- The data systems assurance includes building a longitudinal data system that measures student success and informs teachers and principals how they can improve their practices in concert with analyzing student data.
- The great teachers and leaders assurance includes recruiting, developing, retaining and rewarding effective teachers and principals. Additionally, it calls for changes in teacher and principal preparation and training programs.
- The lowest-achieving schools assurance calls for aggressive action to be taken in turning around persistently underperforming schools.
Race to the Top will reward states that have demonstrated success in raising student achievement and have the best plans to accelerate their reforms in the future. These states will offer models for others to follow and will spread the best reform ideas across their states, and across the country.
The Secretary will determine which states receive grants and the amounts of the grants based on information in the application, other criteria developed by the Secretary, and the state's need for assistance to carry out the objectives addressed by the assurances.
Local Education Agency Sub-allocation: A state that receives an incentive grant must use at least 50 percent of the grant to provide grants to LEAs based on their Title I-A shares for the most recent year.
Selection Criteria and Point Distribution
The U.S. Department of Education allocates points to each criterion and, in selected cases, to sub-criteria as well. The Race to the Top scoring rubric includes 19 criteria and one competitive priority that collectively add up to 500 points. Several of these criteria account for a large number of points; others account for a comparatively small portion of a state’s score. Over half the points that reviewers may award to states are based on states’ accomplishments prior to applying — their successes in increasing student achievement, decreasing the achievement gaps, increasing graduation rates, enlisting strong statewide support and commitment to their proposed plans, and creating legal conditions conducive to education reform and innovation.
Who is eligible?
- State Education Agencies (SEAs)
- A state must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to receive funds under this program:
- The state’s applications for funding under Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund program must be approved by the Department prior to the state being awarded a Race to the Top grant, and
- At the time the state submits its application, there must not be any legal, statutory, or regulatory barriers at the state level to linking data on student achievement or student growth to teachers and principals for the purpose of teacher and principal evaluation.
The U.S. Department of Education plans to award Race to the Top grants in two phases. States that are ready to apply now may do so in Phase 1; states that need more time may apply in Phase 2. States that apply in Phase 1 but are not awarded grants may reapply for funding in Phase 2, together with states that are applying for the first time in Phase 2. Phase 1 grantees may not apply for additional funding in Phase 2.
Guidance and Uses of Funds
Allocations / Awards
States that receive RTT awards will need to comply with all the ARRA reporting requirements. These requirements will be included in the guidance that USDOE provides on the RTT.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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