Race to the Top Effects

Several states changed their education policies to make their applications more competitive. For instance, Illinois increased the cap on the number of charter schools it allows from 60 to 120; Massachusetts passed legislation to "aggressively intervene in its lowest-performing schools," and West Virginia proposed, but did not establish, a performance-based salary system that would have included student achievement in its compensation calculations. In order to be eligible, states couldn't have laws prohibiting the use of measures of student achievement growth in teacher evaluations. Some states had banned the use of value-added modeling in evaluations, but changed their laws to be eligible.

Race to the Top is one contributing factor to 48 states that have adopted common standards for K-12. Adoption was accelerated by the August 1, 2010 deadline for adopting common standards, after which states would not receive points toward round 2 applications. In addition, the White House announced a $350 million federal grant funding the development of assessments aligned to the common standards. The Common Core State Standards, one set of standards adopted by states for Race to the Top, were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and others. Adoption of the Common Core State Standards, however, was not required by Race to the Top.