“Winning access to additional funding, the Akron Digital Academy is participating in the Race to the Top (RttT) initiative which is providing a great opportunity for our school and the children we serve”, says Fred Schuett, Executive Director of ADA. “Indeed, America’s children must succeed in the 21st century and for many schools like ours the Race is underway.”
Race to the Top is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) representing $4.25 billion in competitive grants designed to encourage and reward states that create and maintain conditions for substantial gains in student achievement. Ohio was one of 10 states to receive a portion of the fund in the amount of $400 million.
As part of our application for the RttT grant, goals were developed and submitted as a Scope of Work Plan that set out to:
1. Implement rigorous national and state standards and assessments;
2. Use enhanced electronic systems for data analysis to improve instruction;
3. Provide all students with great teachers and leaders; and
4. Turn around the lowest-achieving schools.
Having been awarded the grant, our Transformation Team of more than a dozen teachers and administrators are moving forward to implement the strategies and programs required to achieve these goals.
Race to the Top will enable us to accelerate our work and develop new innovative strategies. Over the next three and a half years, we will:
· Create a new annual staff evaluation system to drive excellence and demand high performance;
· Develop new innovative methods to assign, recruit and support highly effective teachers and leaders in low performing schools;
· Implement new, rigorous, national, common-core standards;
· Improve the integration of technology, differentiated instruction, and embrace continuous learning for every child.