(Washington, DC) – The US Department of Education today released its annual state-specific reports for Race to the Top grantees, detailing their progress on transforming education at the local level. While the US Department of Education’s Race To The Top: District of Columbia Report – Year 2: School Year 2011-2012 highlights the District’s considerable strides made under the Race to the Top (RTTT) assurance areas, the District of Columbia has been working to address the challenges faced in SY2011-2012.
Several of the successes acknowledged in the US Department of Education’s report include:
·The District’s recognition as one of two states in the nation to be an early adopter of the Common Core Standards (CCSS), where statewide assessments were aligned to CCSS in SY11-12 and approved Local Education Agencies (LEA) transition plans to the CCSS;
· Approval of all LEAs’ plans for teacher and leader evaluations and made significant progress on elements of evaluation measures, including the selection of a value-added measure for student growth and piloting of expanded growth measures to additional grades and subjects;
·Continued convening of Race to the Top (RTTT) task forces, including the Student Growth Measure Task Force and the Human Capital Task Force to accomplish D.C.-wide work; and
·Approval of all RTTT districts’ job-embedded professional development plans on using data to inform instruction.
“Race to the Top is a critical asset toward student success and these measures are a great sign of the progress we have made to date,” said State Superintendent Hosanna Mahaley Jones. “While the District has made meaningful progress in the second year of Race to the Top and addressed the major challenges listed in the report, we must continue our efforts to improve our state’s education system.”
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) recognizes the challenges cited in the report and addressed the concerns with the progress of school turnaround, and the delays in implementing a long-term statewide longitudinal education data system (SLED) and an enterprise grants-management system. OSSE instituted a series of actions including an amended turnaround school support plan, an LEA grant reduction, and redirection of RTTT resources to improve our overall turnaround efforts and institute statewide supports to assist LEA activities that will improve school environments and increase student achievement. In addition, the District’s state education agency made SLED available to all of the LEAs in late 2012, trained every LEA prior to access, and is in the process of securing an enterprise grants-management system by this spring.
A full version of the US Department of Education’s Race To The Top: District of Columbia Report – Year 2: School Year 2011-2012is available for download below and at www.ed.gov.