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New reports highlight the effects of Race to the Top funding
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2013 09:35 AM

Through President Barack Obama's Race to the Top initiative, schools in various states have been able to improve the quality of instruction they deliver. Using funding from the U.S. Department of Education, educators are addressing key academic problems and finding solutions to them, such as implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Recently, the Department released state-specific reports on 12 recipients of Race to the Top funding. These reports provide educators, parents and the general public with a chance to see what types of progress schools have been able to make in their second year of funding.

"Race to the Top has sparked dramatic changes, and in only the second year of the program we're seeing those results reach the classroom," said Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education. "Most states have made tremendous strides and met aggressive timelines on work that has the potential to transform public education for years to come."

The reports focused on the states of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Tennessee, as well as the District of Columbia. A look inside each of the reports provides a glimpse of the positive impact Race to the Top has had on institutions' transition to CCSS-aligned schools.

For example, the Delaware report reveals that the state's Department of Education has used its funding to lay the groundwork for the full implementation of the CCSS in Delaware's third year of funding. During this time, Department officials plan to develop curricular materials and provide more than 9,000 educators with professional development, so that they are ready to teach according to the Common Core.

In Tennessee, some of the state's Race to the Top money has gone toward hiring Core Coaches, who have helped prepare schools for the transition to the new Standards. At the same time, Tennessee's report states that its Department of Education established a CCSS Leadership Council, which was designed to engage educators and collect feedback on the ongoing implementation of the Common Core.

According to Maryland's report, the state organized a series of Educator Effectiveness Academies in the summer of 2012. This provided Maryland with an opportunity to help more than 6,000 teachers and principals receive professional development that will prepare them for the CCSS.




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