The reports highlight the efforts and accomplishments of eleven states — Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Tennessee — and the District of Columbia as they worked to implement comprehensive education reform plans during the 2011-12 school year, as well as the milestones that states have established for year three. Among other things, the reports found that states made strategic investments in tools and resources for educators, students and parents; launched state-level support networks; and/or developed additional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. Others built new pipelines for teachers and leaders, supported critical efforts to turn around low-performing schools, or implemented teacher and principal evaluations to better support educators and inform continuous improvement within schools and districts.
To help states track their progress and course-correct, the department enlisted its Implementation and Support Unit, which worked with participants to make adjustments while holding them accountable to their commitments. DoE also released Annual Performance Report data from states that received support through the program's first three rounds, which helped inform the year-two reports.
Since 2010, the program has awarded some $5 billion to twenty-four states and the District of Columbia through three rounds of the main Race to the Top competition and two rounds of its Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge.
"Race to the Top has sparked dramatic changes, and in only the second year of the program we're seeing those results reach the classroom," said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Most states have made tremendous strides and met aggressive timelines on work that has the potential to transform public education for years to come. Comprehensive education reform isn't easy, and a few states have faced major challenges in implementing their plans. As we reach the halfway point, we need to see every state show results."