In July 2015, Race to the Top (RTTT), a bold federal initiative that offered incentives to spur innovation in teaching and learning, officially ended.
Since the roll out in 2009, RTTT has dedicated over $4 billion to states, impacting more than 22 million students and 1.5 million teachers across the country. By funding specific reform efforts, the initiative aimed to ensure all students are college- and career-ready by graduation.
While the competitive grant process has ended, the work of states, districts, and schools to improve educator and student performance is far from finished.
We're thrilled to share a valuable new resource from our friends and partners at Education First, which provides 10 clear action steps that all states and districts— including those that did not receive RTTT grants— can take to keep their reform efforts on track.
1. Provide educators access to high-quality teaching materials aligned to college- and career-readiness standards.
2. Continue to implement high-quality annual summative assessments to measure student progress toward standards—and remind school communities of why assessments matter.
3. Rethink local assessment systems to emphasize the need for fewer and higher quality assessments, and provide professional learning to build teachers' assessment literacy.
4. Develop school leaders’ skills to understand, observe, evaluate and improve standards-aligned instruction.
5. Adopt school models that allow the most effective teachers to continue working directly with students in classrooms, while also leading, coaching, and mentoring other teachers.
Based on the belief that states must stay the course instead of pivoting to new initiatives and innovations, Ed First's policy brief Race to the Top: Following Through on What We've Started, shares the most promising practices from their experience working with the U.S. Department of Education’s Reform Support Network.
Put simply, quality follow-through is the new innovation, and this important new resource shows education leaders how to finish the job right. Read the entire report to see the rest of the recommended action steps.
Jason Stricker is the president of Insight Education Group, ensuring that our clients and partners receive the highest quality services. With a deep understanding of organizational change and what it takes to successfully implement and sustain initiatives in districts and schools, he loves bringing new ideas to Insight's blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @stricktlyjason.