North Carolina Department of Public Instruction News Release
March 19, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CITES NC AS LEADER IN REFORM THROUGH
RACE TO THE TOP
North Carolina is considered a national leader in education
reform based on the work it has done in public education via
the Race to the Top grant, according to the US Department of
The United States Department of Education today released its
third-year report on Race to the Top. In it, U.S. Education
Secretary Arne Duncan named North Carolina as, once again, one
of the top states making progress in serving students, supporting
teachers and bolstering technology in its remodeling efforts.
"Over the last few years, we have seen Race to the Top
states build on the systems and framework that they have been
developing to lay the foundation for long-term, sustainable
progress," said Duncan. "North Carolina has made key
steps in implementing its plans, developing great teachers and
leaders, and in improving students' outcomes. As North Carolina
completes the third year of implementing its Race to the Top
grant, it has continued to demonstrate leadership in education
The four-year, $400 million Race to the Top grant, awarded in
summer 2010, is now in its fourth year. North Carolina is one
of 11 states, along with the District of Columbia, to receive
the award. The grant's objectives include greater support for
teachers and principals, turning around low-performing schools
and beefing up technology for students and teachers.
"Over the past three years, North Carolina has implemented
new content standards to guide teaching and learning, new assessments
for students and a new accountability model; increased efforts
to assist low-performing schools; and implemented a new suite
of technology tools for student information, instructional support
and educator evaluation and professional development,"
said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "We could not
have done these things without Race to the Top funds. The grant
really allowed us to move forward even though our state was
experiencing difficult financial times."
Notable points of progress cited in the Year 3 NC report include:
- Student achievement results from SY 2011-12 and SY 2012-13
indicate that the state's lowest-achieving schools are making
progress in improving student achievement and graduation rates.
-North Carolina supported local capacity for standards implementation
through regional trainings, webinars, online modules and wikispaces
through which the state and school districts share curriculum
maps, lesson plans and assessment items.
-The NCDPI held additional READY meetings designed to build
understanding of and local capacity to implement North Carolina's
reform agenda. The meetings reached over 3,000 participants
in fall 2012 and 23,000 through spring 2013 virtual sessions.
North Carolina also provided READY outreach materials for participants
to use to deliver information locally.
-Approximately 70 coaches provided customized support and professional
development to schools and districts based on identified needs.
- The NCDPI provided 10 regional professional development sessions
and five Professional Development for School Leaders sessions
that were tailored to the needs of leaders of low-performing
- Year 3 Summer Institutes reached nearly 3,000 participants
and featured an introduction to Home Base, a technology-based
tool that will help educators manage professional resources
and data to improve instruction.
- North Carolina ensured multiple opportunities to support educators
on the transition to new standards and assessments, instructional
technology, and the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System
(NCEES) through its regionally-embedded professional development
staff. North Carolina provided extensive training and resources,
including over 200 face-to-face sessions, 40 webinars, and online
modules to support the transition to new standards and assessments,
instructional technology, and the NCEES.