Other States in Race to the Top, Part 2
Louisiana is often talked about as a front runner in the Race to the Top grant competition. Here’s why.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the state implemented the Recover School District (RSD) to turnaround the state’s lowest performing schools. Today, the RSD oversees 112 schools and has implemented a number of reforms to improve student achievement, including an extended school day to provide more instructional time, a managed curriculum to ensure that students are taught to grade-level standards, and a sweeping classroom modernization program to create learning environments on par with more affluent districts.
They have also taken steps to enable more charter schools to flourish in the state and have in place a teacher accountability system that puts them ahead of the game in ensuring all students have highly effective teachers and that all teachers have the support and development they need to reach their full potential.
In sum, their school turnaround plan is one of the most organized and effective in the nation, they are already leading the way on teacher effectiveness, they have all 10 elements of a high quality data system according to the Data Quality Campaign, they are poised to implement the Common Core Standards, and they have shown a willingness to be bold in addressing the needs of all students. All of this will make them a formidable contender in the “race.”