Friday, February 8, 2013


We talked quite a bit about Race to the Top in class but I didn't feel like I received enough information to come to my own conclusions. I did a bit of research and found this website ( to be particularly helpful. See what you think.

Here are some highlights I found :

No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L.107-110) established an accountability system for states, school districts, and schools receiving federal education funds. It requires states and local districts to (1) have academic standards, (2) make annual progress towards having every student achieve the standards and closing gaps between all students and certain subgroups of students, (3) test students to see if they are learning, and (4) collect data on how they are doing. The law also requires states to identify schools and school districts that are not making enough progress and follow a step-by-step process for either turning those schools around or closing them.
The law makes its academic standards and assessment requirements a condition of receiving a federal Title I grant. Title I grants go through states to local school districts to help educate disadvantaged children. Title I is the largest federal education grant to states and local school districts. According to the State Department of Education (SDE), Connecticut school districts received approximately $123.74 million in Title I grants in FY 09.
Race to the Top Grant
As part of ARRA, also known as the “federal stimulus” act, Congress provided $4.35 billion for competitive grants to states to encourage education innovation and reform in four areas: (1) enhancing standards and assessments, (2) improving collection and use of data, (3) increasing teacher effectiveness and achieving equity in teacher distribution, and (4) turning around low-achieving schools. The RTTT scoring rubric awards states that apply for a grant a maximum of 500 points based on how well they meet the grant's various criteria.  Points are awarded in six areas with many subareas. Winning states must use the grant money to implement the programs and plans detailed in their grant applications.
The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) is awarding Race to the Top grants in two phases. Phase 1 applications were due January 19, 2010 and awards were issued on March 29, 2010. Forty-one states applied for grants in the first round. There were 15 finalists and two winners, Delaware and Tennessee, which received grants of $100 million and $500 million, respectively. Connecticut finished 25th and was not a finalist. Phase 2 applications were due June 1, 2010, with awards expected in September 2010. Thirty-five states, including Connecticut, and the District of Columbia have applied for Phase 2 grants. There is no set number of state awards and no set grant amounts. The USDOE has issued nonbinding guidance for grant ranges by dividing states into five categories based on student population. The range for Connecticut is $60 million to $175 million. Grants must be expended over four years starting from the award date.

NCLB Standards:
 States must test each student in grades three through eight and grade 10 in specified subjects. Test scores must be reported by district, school, and by subgroups within a school. States must define AYP towards meeting the standard. The definition must:
1. apply the same achievement standards statewide;
2. be statistically valid and reliable;
3. result in continuous and substantial academic improvement for all students;
4. measure student progress primarily by test results; and
5. have separate, measurable annual objectives for substantial improvement of all students and students in each of the following subgroups: (a) economically disadvantaged students, (b) students from major racial and ethnic groups, (c) students with disabilities, and (d) students with limited English proficiency.

RTTT Standards:
A state receives a total of 24 points on its RTTT application if its longitudinal data system meets all elements specified in the American COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-69).  This law awards competitive grants to states to enhance their statewide P-16 education longitudinal data systems to include 12 elements:
1. a unique statewide student identifier that does not permit a student to be individually identified by system users;
2. student-level enrollment, demographic, and program participation information;
3. student-level information about the points at which students exit, transfer in and out, drop out, or complete P-16 education programs;
4. the capacity to communicate with higher education data systems;
5. a state data audit system that assesses data quality, validity, and reliability;
6. yearly test records of individual students' performance on NCLB-required tests;
7. information on students not tested by grade and subject;
8. a teacher identifier system with the ability to match teachers to students;
9. student-level transcript information, including information on courses completed and grades earned;
10. student-level college readiness test scores;
11. information on the extent to which students transition successfully from secondary school to postsecondary education, including whether students enroll in remedial coursework; and
12. all other information necessary to address alignment and adequate preparation for success in postsecondary education.

No Child Left Behind Act
Race to the Top Grants

I found this website both informative, non bias, and helpful. I think the general idea and motives behind both acts are great- I just think we need to approach them differently. Lets get some teachers in office to represent us from an understanding and well informed stand point and then see what kind of progress we can make. Looking forward to that day.

1 comment:

  1. If you're interested in the history of NCLB, check out the article I posted in extra resources on BB. It will give you an even broader view of the type of education reform we get and who pushes it.