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What Is Race To The Top

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By Author: Mayank Gupta
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On July 24, 2009, President Obama and therefore the U.S. Department of Education declared the start of the Race to the top Fund competitive grant program. The program is supposed to challenge education authorities to enact "ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing comprehensive, compelling, and coherent education reform" (according to www2.ed.gov).
The major goals of the program are announced at Race to the Top:
Adopting standards and individual assessments that prepare students to contend within the world economy.
Building knowledge systems that measure student success and showing lecturers and principals a way to improve instruction.
Recruiting, developing, bountied, and retaining effective lecturers and principals.
Turning around the lowest-performing schools.
The program needs interested state governors and education departments to submit applications describing their goals and plans. All 50 states, Columbia and Puerto Rico were eligible and invited to use. The sole major restriction on the allocation of awarded funds was that 50% sub-granted to taking part local education authorities ...
... in line with their relative shares of funding under the ESEA Title I, phase A program for the most recent year.
The program accepted all applications from any state seeking some of the $4 billion allotments, whose initial fund was to be spent on 2 phases of competition and grant awards. These grants have proven a tempting proposition for even sceptical state governments at a time of national education funding crisis.
This program is now accepted by boarding schools in India to improve education, building knowledge systems, and developing effective lectures for their students.
Phase 1
In the starting of phase one, education departments were inspired to submit letters of intent to apply. 40 states submitted letters. To be eligible for grant, governors and education departments had to satisfy two prerequisites:
The department should approve the state's applications for funding underneath phase one and phase two of the State business enterprise Stabilization Fund (Stabilization) program before the state being awarded a Race to the top grant.
At that time the state submitted its application, there couldn't be any legal, statutory or regulatory barriers at the state level to linking info on student action (as outlined within the NFP) or child growth (as defined in the NFP) to lecturers and principals for the needs of the teacher and principal assessment.
This second requirement drew objections from teacher's unions — they felt that linking education professional's salaries to child test scores was an unreliable and unproved kind of analysis. However, the "barriers" mentioned within the second requirement refer solely to government statutes and laws, ignoring any talks agreements at the local education authority level. The program's urged budget ranges for each state, however, did not need conformity to those ranges in a state's application.
Ultimately, forty-one agencies applied for grants in section one. Panels of five peer reviewers, fastidiously chosen and extensively trained by the Department of Education, reviewed every one of the applications and 16 finalists were chosen. Two of these finalists, Tennessee and Delaware, received grants. Award letters and final budget breakdowns for all winners of the first 2 phases are out there at www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/awards.html
Phase 2
In the second section, thirty-five states and therefore the District of Columbia applied for the remaining $3.4 billion in grants with any demand of remaining within the proportionate budget ranges urged in phase one, as made public at www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/budget-guidance.pdf. Eighteen state education authorities and the District of Columbia were declared as finalists and ten received grants.
Phase 3
Satisfied with the results, President Obama has allotted $1.3 billion for a third} section, within which solely finalists from phase 2 who failed to receive grants will be eligible to apply.
Overall Outcome
The general results of the program so far are the formation of a coalition of governors and state education agencies, all adopting common education standards as well as many reform measures embraced by many states. To become eligible for grants, states should switch to value-based performance measures for education professionals and lift state caps on the density of charter schools.
Though some native education authorities and unions still oppose these changes, several have embraced the president's goals. Some major national education foundations have opposed the program, while others have refused to require a stance either way.

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