National report praises Ohio’s Race to the Top progress
Release date: 3/27/2012
The report attributes much of Ohio’s success so far to shifting from a compliance-focused relationship with local districts to an approach that provides support and flexibility for districts to achieve measurable results.
“Our Race to the Top approach has allowed us to be more customer-service oriented and provide the support local districts need to be successful,” Ohio Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Michael Sawyers said in the report. He added “With this philosophical shift, we are starting to see significant progress improving student performance and implementing the Common Core curriculum.”
The report states that local districts support this position. “’In general the state’s done a really nice job with Race to the Top,’ says Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Municipal School District. In a departure from past practice, he notes, ‘We’ve had a lot of authority about how to get the work done.’ Cleveland, for example, has used Race to the Top funds to support its successful Closing the Achievement Gap program and to accelerate its Common Core implementation in grades K-2.”
Ohio was one of the original finalists for the federal program, receiving $400 million in 2010.