This is the second in a four-part series on the Race to the Top (RTTT) Round Two finalists. Below, we highlight examples of high school strategies described in six of the RTTT finalists’ proposals.
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the 19 Race to the Top (RTTT) Round Two finalists. In their applications, states were required to project improvement in achievement and graduation rates and to demonstrate how they plan to meet those projections should they be awarded RTTT funds.
Policymakers and educators at the state, district, and building levels are looking to research and evaluation studies to guide policy and practice decisions. Increasingly, applications for federal and state funding require use of “evidence based” or “research supported” strategies, programs, and reform activities.
The Common Core State Standards for students (Common Core) present a range of college- and career-ready standards that emphasize reading, writing, listening and speaking. The standards also present rigorous mathematics standards that, if mastered, will ensure a student is ready to engage in college-level or work-specific mathematical calculations. Since the release on June 2 of this year, the Common Core has been adopted by 23 states.
Decades of research have shown that what happens in the home and community impacts students at school, and what occurs at school impacts students’ home and community experiences. Thus, it stands to reason that students who attend chronically low-performing high schools will benefit from comprehensive, responsive systems that cut across multiple policy and social service domains, including education and health and human services.
Joseph R. Harris, Ph.D., is the Director of the National High School Center and a Managing Research Analyst for the American Institutes for Research. In addition to his extensive role in providing school improvement technical assistance at the federal, state, district and school levels, Dr. Harris has a strong background in STEM education reform as both a practitioner and researcher/evaluator, and more than two decades of experience as an administrator and high school teacher in an urban public school environment.