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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 Illinois 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

The grant is being used to bolster Illinois’ ongoing work on projects and programs in four areas including:

  • Adopting more rigorous standards and assessments
  • Recruiting, evaluating, and retaining highly effective teachers and principals
  • Building data systems that measure student success
  • Building state capacity and support

Click herePDF Document for an overview of Illinois Race to the Top.

Click herePDF Document for a printer-friendly version of the overview.

Race to the Top

32 Districts

32 Local Education Agencies (Participating Districts or LEAs) 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 32 Participating Districts, who serve as reform exemplars for the state. The remaining funds are being used to implement projects that benefit both the 32 Participating Districts and the state as a whole. One of ISBE’s primary goals through RttT is to support the 32 leading Participating Districts as and processes needed to accelerate and sustain improved student outcomes, and by building capacity to extend reforms throughout the state.

Click herePDF Document to see map of Race to the Top Participating Districts.

Click herePDF Document to see information about Race to the Top Participating Districts.

16 State Projects

Illinois is implementing 16 state initiatives to ensure Participating Districts and the state overall will be well positioned to offer a top-notch education that will prepare all students for success in college, career, and in life in the 21st century. One of ISBE’s primary goals through RttT is to support the leading 32 Participating Districts that will build the systems and processes needed to accelerate and sustain improved student outcomes and building capacity to extend these initiatives statewide.

Click here for more information about our State Projects.

Resources for Participating Districts​​​​

 Scopes of Work, Budgets and Reports

 Guidance for Implementation

 Race to the Top Networking Meetings

 Archives

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