Ohio’s Race to the Top Receives High Marks from US DOE
Release date: 1/11/2012
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the Columbus Dispatch, “Ohio is in really good shape. Our team is encouraged by the commitment and by the progress. There’s still a long way to go, but there’s been a good working relationship"
“I am proud of the dedicated effort of our Race to the Top participating districts and schools,” said Stan Heffner, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “These districts and schools began this work with the knowledge that it would not be easy. Their resilience to do better for their students and their community serve as an inspiration to us all.”
Ohio continues to lead as a model state with its Race to the Top initiative. Many efforts are being recognized in this first year of Ohio’s RttT program by the USDOE. Achievements include capacity building for statewide reform, raising standards, improving teacher quality, turning around low-performing schools, investing in innovation and leveraging resources to improve rural schools.
Year one achievements are further illustrated by the following:
The creation of a new Race to the Top (RTTT) Division to manage the broad scope of work, assisted by regional coordinators and specialists as well as District Transformation Teams, groups of teachers and administrators that oversee each participating district’s RTT progress;
Execution of a robust outreach and feedback operation to communicate with districts on RTTT work through multiple communication methods including monthly newsletters, email listservs, a hotline, surveys and conferences;
Analysis of state standards to Common Core and published a comparison. The state then developed nearly 800 web-based Common Core curriculum resources for English, math, science and social science and engaged nearly 24,000 educators on using the materials;
Ohio has drafted, field-tested and initiated trainings on the new teacher and principal evaluation systems;
Significant progress has been made in increasing pathways and recruitment efforts for high-quality teachers and principals;
Initiated intervention efforts in 35 low-performing schools across the state;
The establishment of the Innovation School Models (ISM), a district competitive grant program that funds innovation practices such as boosting high school graduation rates, increasing college enrollment and enhancing STEM education. ISM received overwhelming interest with 500 districts applying and 46 receiving awards ranging from $14,000 to $250,000 per year.
Established the Ohio Appalachian Initiative, a 22-district collaboration that build a network of rural districts to share effective practices such as using data, training teachers and principals and engaging community members.
As ODE progresses collaboratively into year two with the 471 participating school districts and schools much work remains and ODE is dedicated to supporting all efforts as we work to transform Ohio schools.
Find Year-One Reports here
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