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Race to the Top

About Race to the Top
Race to the Top

On August 24, 2010, Maryland was awarded one of the federal government's coveted Race to the Top educational grants during the second round of the application process. The State's grant is worth $250 million over four years.

The $4.3 billion federal program is aimed at boosting student achievement, reducing gaps in achievement among student subgroups, turning around struggling schools, and improving the teaching profession. Maryland's primary RTTT reforms will:

  • Revise the PreK-12 Maryland State Curriculum, assessments, and accountability system based on the Common Core Standards to assure that all graduates are college- and career-ready. The State Board in June endorsed the Common Core Standards.
  • Build a statewide technology infrastructure that links all data elements with analytic and instructional tools to monitor and promote student achievement.
  • Redesign the model for preparation, development, retention, and evaluation of teachers and principals.
  • Fully implement the innovative Breakthrough Center approach for transforming low-performing schools and districts.
The Harford County Board of Education is accelerating efforts and making necessary changes to the current way of doing business, and has approved a Strategic Plan that aligns with Maryland's Race to the Top goals. Specifically, Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) believes all students can meet high standards, and we will hold ourselves and all students to those standards. To that end, the school system commits to the following elements of the State's reform plan as described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA):
  • Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-quality assessments;
  • Using data to improve instruction;
  • Supporting great teachers and great leaders; and
  • Turning around HCPS lowest-achieving schools.
HCPS applied for $2.9 million over the next four years from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). These funds have been allocated to Local Education Agencies based on the Title I, Part A per-pupil allocations. The Executive Summary provides an overview of the initiatives and priorities outlined in Maryland's RTTT grant application. Priorities and initiatives identified by HCPS are as follows:
  • Project Manager
  • Teacher Induction and Mentor Professional Development
  • Model Department Chairpersons
  • College Preparation and Advanced Placement Coursework
  • Longitudinal Data System
  • Common Core Standards Professional Development
  • Classroom Focus Improvement Process and Performance Matters
  • Principal and Teacher Preparation