Sunday, July 26, 2009

Race to the top: Criteria

Federal Race to the Top grants will go to states that combine strong current reform conditions with strong plans. This program is clearly being designed to extend existing efforts, not to help states start from scratch or merely continue work already underway.

For reform conditions already in place, here are the draft criteria the federal Department of Education released Friday:
  • Developing and adopting common standards
  • Developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments
  • Fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system
  • Providing alternative pathways for aspiring teachers and principals
  • Intervening in the lowest-performing schools and LEAs
  • Increasing the supply of high-quality charter schools
  • Demonstrating significant progress (on standards, data, teaching quality, struggling schools, and achievement)
  • Making education funding a priority
  • Enlisting statewide support and commitment
For the reform plan that will use the RTTT money, here's what the draft criteria say will count:
  • Supporting transition to enhanced standards and high-quality assessments
  • Accessing and using state data
  • Using data to improve instruction
  • Differentiating teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance
  • Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals
  • Reporting the effectiveness of teacher and principal preparation programs
  • Providing effective support to teachers and principals
  • Turning around struggling schools
  • Raising achievement and closing gaps
  • Building strong statewide capacity to implement, scale, and sustain proposed plans
My earlier post with basics on the RTTT applications is here.

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