Race to the Top

Race to the Top (RTT) is a federally funded grant program developed by the Barack Obama administration as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. To compete for the RTT grant, states had to develop innovative school reform proposals that targeted four areas:

  • Developing and retaining effective teachers and school leaders
  • Improving low-achieving schools
  • Creating and enhancing student data systems
  • Raising standards and improving accountability systems.

Twelve states were awarded RRT grants in 2010. Seven states that were finalists in 2010 received smaller awards in December 2011.


In 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. NCLB required all states receiving federal education funds to develop and implement rigorous academic standards ...

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