Mar 11 2016

Race to the Top Funds Help State Data Systems

ARRA funds gave K–12 schools a data edge, according to a recent report.

A recently released report states that schools used $4 billion in federal Race to the Top grant money to make significant progress in areas such as state data systems and instructional resources for teachers.

The Race to the Top program, which was launched as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, awarded $4 billion in grants to 11 states and the District of Columbia under the first two phases of the program, as well as $360 million to fund two partnerships with states that designed tests aligned to the Common Core curriculum.

The 76-page report, “Fundamental Change: Innovation in America’s Schools Under Race to the Top,” touted the successes of the program, including rising graduation rates in recipient states and higher passing rates by students taking Advanced Placement courses. The program, however, had its share of challenges including figuring out how to perform teacher assessments, the report acknowledges.

“This work is complex and interconnected,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says in the report. “And this work is far from done.”