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What is Race to the Top?
Race to the Top (RT3) is a $4B Federal fund that provides competitive grants to States that:
- create the conditions necessary for comprehensive education innovation and reform;
- implement ambitious plans in four education reform areas described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA):
achieve significant improvement in student outcomes, including making substantial gains in student achievement, closing achievement gaps, improving high school graduation rates, and ensuring that students are prepared for success in college and careers.
- Standards and Assessments,
- Data Systems to Support Instruction ;
- Great Teachers and Leaders, and
- Turning around the Lowest-Achieving Schools
The US Department of Education has awarded RT3 grants to 12 states. Georgia earned the coveted award in the second round. Other winners are:
Round 1Round 2
- District of Columbia
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
States are currently competing in the third round of RT3 funding.What is Georgia’s Race to the Top plan?
As the graphic depicts, Georgia was awarded $400M over four years to implement a robust statewide education reform strategy. Half of the award will be used for State level implementation and half disbursed directly to partner school districts.RT3 Partner School District
|Ben Hill|| Dougherty|| Rabun|
|Bibb|| Gainesville|| Richmond|
|Burke|| Gwinnett|| Rockdale|
|Carrollton|| Hall|| Spalding|
|Chatham|| Henry|| Treutlen|
|Cherokee|| Meriwether|| Valdosta|
|Clayton|| Muscogee|| White|
These districts represent:
- 41 percent of Georgia’s public school students
- 46 percent of Georgia’s students in poverty
- 53 percent of Georgia’s African American students
- 48 percent of Georgia’s Hispanic students
- 68 percent of the state’s lowest achieving schools
Although, the majority of the reform work will take place within the 26 partnering districts, Georgia’s RT3 includes opportunities for non-RT3 districts to benefit from some of the resources.Four Education Reform Areas1. Common Core Georgia Performance Standards
2. Great Teachers and Leaders
- The Common Core Georgia Performance Standards is a state-led process to develop common standards in English language arts and Mathematics for grades K-12.
- Through RT3, the State will provide:
- Training to teachers on the CCGPS
- Develop new formative and benchmark assessments
3. Data Systems
- Georgia’s “Great Teachers and Leaders” initiative is focused on recruiting, preparing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most.
- Through RT3, the State will:
- Develop effectiveness measures for teachers, school leaders and school districts, which will be used to inform all talent management decisions;
- Enter into partnerships with external organizations such as Teach for America (TFA) and The New Teacher Project (TNTP) to increase the pipeline of effective teachers in “high need” schools and hard-to-staff subject areas;
- Develop effectiveness measures for Teacher and Leadership Preparation Programs and offer Summer Leadership Academies to support school leader development;
- Establish induction guidelines for teachers and principals; and
- Partner with local universities to replicate the UTeach program, a highly successful math and science teacher preparation program created at the University of Texas at Austin.
4. Turning Around Lowest Achieving Schools
- Georgia’s “Data Systems” initiative aims to provide seamless access to robust and comprehensive data on student and teacher performance throughout the pre-K-12 and college experience.
- Through RT3, the State will:
- Develop a warehouse to host data across the P-20 spectrum. This data warehouse, known as the State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS), will support statistical and business intelligence tools as well as reporting.
Additional areas of focus
- Georgia identified 40 middle and high schools that are considered “persistently lowest-achieving” based on historical student achievement and student need. Each of these schools are in the process of implementing one of four school intervention models aimed at creating radical change throughout the school community.
- Through RT3, the State will:
- Create a new office within the Georgia Department of Education focused exclusively on leading turnaround work for the persistently lowest-achieving schools.
- Connect lowest achieving schools to additional support through partnerships with Communities in Schools of Georgia to aid in dropout prevention and TFA & TNTP to aid in teacher pipeline development in hard-to-staff areas.
Georgia’s Race to the Top plan also includes initiatives focused on early childhood learning, STEM and innovative public and private partnerships.
What is the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement’s Role in Race to the Top?
- Early Learning Outcomes. Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is implementing a professional development strategy to improve evaluation capabilities at the pre-K level.
- STEM. In order to ensure that all Georgia students are prepared for post-secondary success in the 21st century, the State has placed a priority on promoting an aggressive STEM agenda to ensure that students are proficient in STEM fields. Through RT3, the State will:
- Partner with Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) on a number of initiatives, including professional development for teachers and the development of new STEM courses.
- Innovation Fund. At the core of the Innovation Fund is the following theory:
IF, public and private organizations are encouraged by financial resources, policy environments and supportive operating conditions, THEN, the State of Georgia will benefit from a stronger commitment from diverse stakeholders to support and advance K-12 public education, the ability to replicate innovative practices with a demonstrated record of success, and ultimately, improved outcomes for students. Through RT3, the State will:
- Award over $19M in competitive grants to strong public and private partnerships that will develop or implement innovative and high-impact programs aimed at producing positive outcomes for students.
In alignment with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA)’s overall commitment to meaningful, transparent, and objective analysis and communication of statewide data, GOSA has three primary roles in Georgia’s RT3 efforts:1. State Longitudinal Data System
The Race to the Top SLDS will reside with GOSA and host data provided by:
- Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL)
- Technical College System of GA (TCSG)
- Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE)
- University System of GA (USG)
- Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC)
- Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA)
- Professional Standards Commission (PSC)
The SLDS team at GOSA will work to achieve the project’s overall objectives to:
2. Management of Statewide RT3 Evaluation
- Make educational data available that supports cross agency analysis
- Establish an environment that will support data storage and access over time
- Establish an environment that will both be valued by the community it supports and require minimum resources to maintain
GOSA is charged with developing the statewide evaluation plan for RT3. The evaluation will have three tiers:
GOSA will lead the development of the RT3 evaluation plan and identify internal and external partners who will help the State determine the impact of various RT3 projects. GOSA will also communicate the results of the various formative and summative evaluations through progress updates, annual reports, and policy briefs.3. Innovation Fund Technical Assistance and Collaboration
GOSA has been instrumental in the creation of the Innovation Fund. Because of the unique nature of the Innovation Fund, GOSA has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) to develop the Round I and II Requests for Proposals (RFP) in an effort to ensure that the funded projects will be research-based and will yield impactful results that can be studied and potentially replicated.
Additionally, GOSA continues to support the Governor’s Office and OPB with proposal review and providing technical assistance around evaluation.GOSA RT3 Staff Contact Information
Bonnie Holliday - Executive Director - 404-463-1150
Kriste Elia - SLDS Director - 404-651-7792
Niah Shearer - Research and Evaluation Specialist - 404-463-0366