Race to the Top
It's time to stop just talking about education reform and start actually doing it. It's time to make education America's national mission. – President Barack Obama, November 4, 2009
About the Federal Race to the Top Program
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), historic legislation designed to stimulate the economy, support job creation, and invest in critical sectors, including education. The ARRA laid the foundation for education reform by supporting investments in innovative strategies that are most likely to lead to improved results for students, long-term gains in school and school system capacity, and increased productivity and effectiveness.
The ARRA provided $4.35 billion for the Race to the Top Fund, a competitive grant program designed to encourage and reward States that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform; achieving significant improvement in student outcomes, including making substantial gains in student achievement, closing achievement gaps, improving high school graduation rates, and ensuring student preparation for success in college and careers; and implementing ambitious plans in four core education reform areas.
About Race to the Top in Massachusetts
Massachusetts was one of 12 winning states in the national Race to the Top competition, funded by the U.S. Department of Education to promote reform in four areas: standards and assessments, great teachers and leaders, school turnaround, and data systems. Half of RTTT funding is allocated to ESE for enhanced data systems, model curriculum, evaluation and other state infrastructure to continue to support the education reform begun in the Commonwealth in 1993. The balance of RTTT funding has been allocated to over 250 participating school districts and charter schools who have signed on to the challenge of implementing RTTT programs at the local level. RTTT resources will allow us to build the skills, expand the capacity, create the tools, and harness the technology needed to close persistent achievement gaps while increasing achievement for all.
For more about Race to the Top in Massachusetts, visit the state’s Department of Primary and Secondary Education website.