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Race To The Top: A Nationwide Educational Reform Movement

1414 words - 6 pages

For as long as America has had formal education, the need for educational reform has existed alongside it since there exists an ultimate goal of serving all students equally and effectively. Can reform attain this goal? What attributes are desired in a good school, and how can educational reform make more schools rise to this level of performance? According to Arthur W. Foshay, author of The Curriculum Matrix: Transcendence and Mathematics, “The one continuing purpose of education, since ancient times, has been to bring people to as full a realization as possible of what it is to be a human being. Other statements of educational purpose have also been widely accepted: to develop the intellect, to serve social needs, to contribute to the economy, to create an effective work force, to prepare students for a job or career, to promote a particular social or political system” (“What Is the Purpose of Education”). Indeed, the goal of school is to improve the educational system so that student success is maximized through the effectiveness of its teachers and administrators. To this end, school reform ranges from grassroots efforts at the community level, to national, government-run reform such as the current Race to the Top policy whereby schools, districts and states are held accountable for student performance and educational efficiency ("Race to the Top Assessment Program").
Race to the Top is a nationwide educational reform movement with a focus on raising standards that challenge students to be better prepared for college and the workplace. Furthermore, Race to the Top aims to improve data-driven curriculum and to provide new strategies to help struggling schools. President Obama, committed to the future of America’s children and their educational standing in the world, has dedicated over four billion dollars to the reform program ("Race to the Top"). Authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Race to the Top provides funding so that each state is capable of developing valid assessments that accurately measure student performance. In addition, the reform program demands the accountability of effective instruction; a “good” school must analyze student data, and then measure student achievement against national standards designed to ensure that all students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in college and the workplace. As a result of these reform guidelines, President Obama expects to have America’s educational system back on track by 2020 as the “world leader in college graduates” (“Race To The Top Assessment Program”).
Race to the Top emphasizes equality of educational opportunity by trying to improve every school across America, especially low-income and low-performing schools. To date, nineteen states have created robust plans to address the four key areas of K-12 educational reform through the Race to the Top program: setting rigorous standards, analyzing data, supporting teachers...

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