Illinois Race to the Top

What is Race to the Top?

Race to the Top (RttT) is a federal competitive grants program that aims to accelerate key education reforms in states and districts and create the conditions for greater educational innovation and close persistent achievement gaps while increasing student achievement. Illinois was awarded a $42.8 million phase three Race to the Top grant in December 2011 after being a finalist in the competition’s first two rounds.

Overarching Goals of Illinois RttT

The grant is being used to bolster Illinois’ ongoing work on projects and programs in four areas including:

Click here for an overview of Illinois Race to the Top. Click here for a printer-friendly version of the overview.

Race to the Top

35 Districts

35 Local Education Agencies (Participating Districts or LEAs) across the state are blazing the path by being the first to implement key reforms aimed at improving school performance and student achievement. The rules of the competition ensure that 50% of the award goes directly to the 35 Participating Districts, who serve as reform exemplars for the state. The remaining funds are being used to implement projects that benefit both the 35 Participating Districts and the state as a whole. One of ISBE’s primary goals through RttT is to support the 35 leading Participating Districts as they build the systems and processes needed to accelerate and sustain improved student outcomes, and by building capacity to extend reforms throughout the state.

Click here to see map of Race to the Top Participating Districts.
Click here to see information about Race to the Top Participating Districts.

16 State Projects

Illinois is implementing 16 state initiatives to ensure Participating Districts and the state overall will be well positioned to offer a top-notch education that will prepare all students for success in college, career, and in life in the 21st century. One of ISBE’s primary goals through RttT is to support the leading 35 Participating Districts that will build the systems and processes needed to accelerate and sustain improved student outcomes and building capacity to extend these initiatives statewide.

Click here for more information about our State Projects.
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