- K-12 Education
- Higher Education
- Who We Are
The Department of Education's $5 billion in "Race to the Top" and innovation funds provides a historic opportunity to reward states, school districts, and entrepreneurs doing good work for kids. Much of the funding, $4.35 billion, will go to states that can document successful implementation of NCLB's provisions—achieving equitable distribution of quality teachers, improving collection and use of data, implementing quality standards and assessments, and supporting struggling schools. The rest, $650 million, is reserved for school districts and nonprofits implementing proven reform strategies.
The stakes are high, as this may be the most important opportunity school reformers get in the foreseeable future to make a difference. That said, the governance and accountability structures accompanying these funds will likely make or break their effectiveness. How then should the department distribute these funds? What criteria should be used? How should the department evaluate recipients and ensure that the process is fair and transparent? And, importantly, how can the administration support educational entrepreneurs without the perception of cronyism (i.e., Education Secretary Arne Duncan rewarding his education reformer friends)?
This panel discussion featured:
Andrew Rotherham, Education Sector co-founder and co-author of Changing the Game: The Federal Role in Supporting 21st Century Educational Innovation
Ted Mitchell, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that seeks to transform public education
Frederick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Robert Manwaring, Education Sector senior policy analyst and leader of the organization's accountability work (as moderator)
This event is made possible with a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.