Competing Principles

Race to the Top, a $4 billion US education reform effort, produced valuable lessons on designing a competition-based program.

In 2009, the US Department of Education unveiled Race to the Top, a competition-based initiative that leveraged funding that Congress had appropriated as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The goal of Race to the Top was to identify and invest in states that not only had outstanding ideas for improving educational outcomes but were also in a strong position to implement those ideas. The competition required each applicant to submit a comprehensive statewide plan for...

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Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why

By Paul Tough

Building on his previous work about the importance of personal traits such as perseverance in student success, Paul Tough focuses Helping Children Succeed on how educators, policymakers, and parents can help children develop those attributes.