What is Race to the Top?
Race to the Top awards 4.35 billion dollars for education reform to states that win a competitive application process. The reforms fall into four core areas: adopting standards and assessments that prepare students for future economic success, building data systems to measure growth, rewarding and retaining effective teachers, and turning around the lowest-achieving schools. (The complete scoring rubric is available on page 3 of the Executive Summary.) Currently, the Department of Education has awarded funds to the District of Columbia and 21 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington.
How might Race to the Top impact music educators?
In order to win Race to the Top funds, authors of the Executive Summary write that states must establish “rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation systems for teacher and principals” based on “multiple rating categories that take into account data on student growth as a significant factor.” As a result, many music educators’ evaluations are now based in part on student growth data.
More information on music teacher evaluation is available here.