Race to the Top
The Race to the Top initiative began at the Federal Department of Education as a competitive grant program intended to provide significant financial support to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform.
Ohio was awarded $400,000,000 for its Race to the Top (RttT) strategy which aligns with the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE's) vision and mission to implement a world-class education system in which all students will graduate with a sense of purpose and be well prepared for college, work and life.
Ohio then created a grant opportunity open to all of Ohio's public and charter school districts.More than half of Ohio school districts and two-thirds of public community/charter schools voluntarily agreed to participate in this statewide reform effort. Collectively, they are Ohio’s 478 RttT participating Local Education Agencies (LEAs). Among the students to be served by Ohio’s RttT funds, 35% attend an urban district school, 32% attend a suburban district school, 26% attend a rural district school, and 7% attend a public community/charter school.
Participation in the RttT initiative requires a significant commitment of time and effort in support of school reform and building an educational system equipped to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Eagle Academy staff embraced this commitment in 2010, and has fully implemented all parts of the RttT initiative since then. As of June 2013, Eagle Academy has been allocated $122,800 in RttT funds, which have been used for the following:
* Full implementation of the Common Core Standards for Reading and Math and the Ohio Revised Standards for Science and Social Studies. (Area B)
* Full implementarion of Data Director, with a plan to transition to Ohio's new Instructional Improvement System (IIS), Thinkgate, when it is released. These systems help teachers track student progress towards mastery of the standards. (Area C)
* Full implementaion of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) and Ohio Principal Evaluation System (OPES). (Area D)
* Professional development for staff in all of the above areas. (Area D)
* Implementation of merit-based compensation. (Area D)
In addition, Eagle Academy has developed and implemented the following:
* A Race to the Top Transformation Team that meets monthly, comprised of staff from both the Elementary and Secondary.
* An annual Scope of Work, outlining our RttT goals and how we plan to achieve them. All goals are aligned with Ohio's Scope of Work and our Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan. Processes are in place for ongoing progress monitoring to ensure that work towards goals is being completed in a timely manner.
Ohio's Race to the Top Focus Areas
Area A: State Success Factors Ohio will assure the necessary capacity to implement, scale up, and sustain meaningful reform across participating Local Education Agencies (LEAs).
Area B: Standards and Assessments By 2014, 100% of Ohio’s classrooms will implement a more rigorous college- and-career ready curriculum that, together with aligned assessments and teacher supports, will form the foundation of a comprehensive system to empower Ohio’s students to succeed globally in the 21st century.
Area C: Data Systems to Support Instruction By 2014, value added and formative assessment data will be used by over 38,000 4th-8th grade math and reading teachers.
Area D: Great Teachers and Leaders By 2014, 95% of teachers in high-poverty, high-minority schools will be rated effectively or highly effective.
Area E: Turning Around Ohio’s Lowest-Achieving Schools By 2014, Ohio will implement school intervention models in 79 persistently low-achieving schools serving 35,000 students.