In the newly announced Race to the Top 2012 competition, the Department of Education (DOE) is emphasizing the pivotal role that districts play in closing the achievement gap and transforming instruction for every student. The new RTTT proposal recognizes districts that possess:
- a clear vision for transforming classroom instruction down to the individual student level,
- the capacity for reform,
- and a bold plan that targets resources where students need them most.
Shifting from the state-oriented approach of the first phases of RTTT, the proposal wisely supports resource innovation—talent, time, technology, and money—closer to the student, where it can have the greatest impact.
For over a decade ERS’ work has focused at the district level, helping school systems across the country align resources with the most urgent priorities for schools and students. We have developed a series of tools to help transform instruction at the district, school, and individual classroom level.
How ERS Tools Can Help Districts Develop Winning Plans
- On vision: Use our School System 20/20 infographic, Resource Check, to identify high level opportunities to align resources toward transforming instruction in the classroom and assess where you have the most leverage.
- On Capacity Building: Use School Budget Hold’em to help your team think differently and to make explicit tradeoffs that redirect resources from the old, to the bold strategies that will make a difference. Or use it with broader stakeholders to build understanding and support for making courageous change through transparent trade-offs. Also use our targeted resource guides to analyze your current resource decisions more deeply.
- On Creating a Strategic Plan: Our new version of DREAM, the District Resource Allocation Modeler, scheduled to go live in June, allows larger districts to use NCES data, or to insert their own current data, to model the specific resource transformation changes that can reconfigure budgets to better align with instructional goals. Use DREAM to create the vision and see what’s possible with the resources you have. Stay tuned for the release!