Trish Brennan-Gac
Learning Point Associates

The Race to the Top (RTTT) grant competition incentivized 41 states to put their best foot forward and demonstrate the significant progress they have made in improving their education systems and the academic achievement of their students. Every application shares a rich story of each state’s efforts over time and provides specific examples of their success. From these applications, state education agency (SEA) staff can learn about successful strategies and emerging trends in other states. These strategies and trends may offer insights or connections to aid SEAs in similar work in which they are engaged.

Learning Point Associates staff reviewed these initial applications and analyzed specific topics related to each of the assurance areas. The first product from this effort is a report that was jointly published by Learning Point Associates and the Council of Chief State School Officers: Preliminary Review: CCSSO Strategic Initiatives Identified in State Phase 1 Race to the Top Applications. The report reflects only a portion of the work we have done in analyzing these applications. We have gathered specific information on a variety of topics that are listed below.

As we continue our analysis, we are eager to learn how we can use this information to support the staff of the SEAs we serve. So, what should our next steps be? Are you interested in webinars or topic-specific analysis? Would you like to talk with representatives from other states? Would you like an analysis of your state’s application and scoring?

Following is a list of the topics we researched. Did we miss something? Is there a topic in which you are particularly interested? Please share your thoughts with us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

RTTT Topics Researched

  • Traditional teacher certification
  • Alternative certification
  • Teacher evaluation
  • Teacher compensation
  • Local education agency/union engagement
  • Alternative certification for principals
  • Principal certification
  • Principal evaluation
  • Principal compensation
  • Alternative certification for administrators
  • Administrator certification
  • Administrator evaluation
  • Administrator compensation
  • Technology
  • Individualized instruction
  • Data
  • School improvement
  • Student involvement
  • Assessment consortium

One Response to “Learning Point Associates and CCSSO Analyze RTTT Applications”

  • Nick Pinchok:

    I think interest in this information will be high. Webinars and a possible roadshow would be very valuable to SEA staff, school districts and parents/business/community organizations to get a feel for “what is coming” in education, rather than being focused on “what has been.” Those of us involved in work with SEA’s know that significant change has begun already in many areas and those changes will impact what is happening in schools sooner than people know. Deep awareness and knowledge of these plans appear to be low, in general.

    Though there are aspects of it layered within many of these topics, the needs of and planned improvements for Diverse Learners (ELL, Special Ed), would be interesting to see a focus on or an analysis of. From this list, I think Individualized Instruction, Student Involvement and Technology, with all the emphasis lately in the media about ineffective teachers, will be interesting understand–what are the patterns and what do states see as the answer to this problem through those three lenses.

    Great work in tackling this large and important reform/change initiative. RTTT appears to have been an important game changer so far.

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