Illinois Race to the Top
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- Participating Districts
- State Projects
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What is Race to the Top?
Race to the Top (RttT) is a federal competitive grants program that aims to accelerate key education reforms in states and districts and create the conditions for greater educational innovation and close persistent achievement gaps while increasing student achievement. Illinois was awarded a $42.8 million phase three Race to the Top grant in December 2011 after being a finalist in the competition’s first two rounds.
Overarching Goals of RttT
- Participating Districts comprehensively address the RttT requirements, leading to dramatic student growth
- Participating Districts serve as leaders of the reform agenda for the entire State
- Build capacities for statewide implementation of key initiatives and systems
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35 Districts Blaze the Path for Statewide Reforms
35 Local Education Agencies (Participating Districts) across the state are blazing the path by being the first to implement key reforms aimed at improving school performance and student achievement. The rules of the competition ensure that 50% of the award goes directly to the 35 Participating Districts, who serve as reform exemplars for the state. The remaining funds are being used to implement projects that benefit both the 35 Participating Districts and the state as a whole. One of ISBE’s primary goals through RttT is to support the 35 leading Participating Districts as they build the systems and processes needed to accelerate and sustain improved student outcomes, and by building capacity to extend reforms throughout the state.
How is the money being used?
The grant is being used to bolster Illinois’ ongoing work on projects and programs in four areas including: