Race to the Top–District Guidance and Action Brief

AIR and Turnaround for Children have authored two white papers to support districts who are applying for the Race to the Top – District (RTTD) competition. The RTTD, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, provides almost $400 million to support school districts in designing and implementing local reforms that will personalize learning, close achievement gaps and utilize 21st century tools to help students prepare college and careers.

RTTD is aimed at classrooms and the important relationship between teachers and students. It encourages districts to demonstrate how they can personalize education for every student, and provides teachers and leaders with the necessary tools and support that help them to best meet their students’ needs. To leverage RTTD, districts must begin with a clear vision and high quality plan for establishing the “foundational conditions” to create personalized learning environments, including a plan to measure the implementation of and impact of those conditions. The two white papers authored by AIR and Turnaround for Children provide guidelines for establishing these foundational conditions and for using a specific set of metrics to measure their effectiveness and impact:

  • RTTD Guidance: Implementing Continuous Improvement Metrics and Strategies for the Foundational Conditions for Personalized Learning - Authored by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), this paper describes metrics, related indicators, and a continuous improvement strategy to track the establishment of foundational conditions for personalized learning. Included in the process is a rigorous application of performance measures at the district, school, classroom, and student levels that drills down to the classroom and student level, and focuses on the relationship between educators, students, and school leaders. Districts that use these metrics and strategies will be able to enhance the connection between teachers and students, and meet the needs of every student as they prepare for college and careers.
  • RTTD Action Brief: Establishing the Foundational Conditions for Personalized Learning - Authored by Turnaround for Children, this white paper provides suggestions that districts can use to address RTTD’s Absolute Priority 1 and Competitive Preference Priority. It recommends three foundational conditions that schools should put in place to transform classrooms and the school itself in order to realize and implement innovative, personalized learning models that can accelerate college and career readiness outcomes for all students, particularly those in poverty.