Race to the Top: Voices From the States

Last month, state and local leaders from the 11 states and the District of Columbia receiving funds from Phases 1 and 2 of the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top program met in Washington, D.C.  Participants explored teacher and leader effectiveness initiatives in the context of college- and career-ready standards.  They focused on how to:

    • better support teachers and principals as they work with their students to meet new, higher standards;
    • create reforms that are sustainable and improve over time; and
    • collaborate across agencies to meet Race to the Top goals.

Reflecting on more than a year’s experience with implementing the program, the officials agreed that their Race to the Top efforts sometimes have been challenging but are clearly worth it.  They see their reforms as a significant opportunity to better prepare students to succeed in college and careers.

“It’s the right work to do,” said Mitchell Chester, commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  “It’s clearly an ambitious agenda, and one that requires substantial effort and a willingness to rethink how we do school … but it is the right work to do.”

Watch “Race to the Top: Voices from the States:”

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Learn more about Race to the Top.


  1. And where is CTAE in all this? The administration talks about college prep and work ready for high schoolers, but those of us with Family and Consumer Science programs are overwhelmed with constant changes in curricula, and sad to see needed lifeskills classes cut in exchange for professional pathways . How are students suppose to complete pathways on a traditional schedule? How do teachers fill classes when three courses are required to complete a pathway? I have eight preps this year and you are taking my planning periods, so I can look at data? Pleaseeeeeeee.

  2. Dan,
    it is the same as doctors performance is tied to patient performance, they did it here. Very awful thing.

  3. As a teacher, how am I being supported when my salary is tied to student performance? I have many homeless students here in Hawaii, who are far below grade level and struggle to pass the HSA (our standardized state test).

    I am a great, dedicated teacher (I differentiate, use standards, etc.) but the population I teach is far below national levels.

    Am I to be blamed for this?

  4. I find the ideas and processes in the book “Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change” by William Bridges exceptionally useful in planning and and implementing RTTT.

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