Second Annual Race to the Top Evaluation Report

Jeni CornLauren Bryant, Jennifer Maxfield, Meredith Walton, Ruchi Patel, Sara Pilzer Weiss, Brandy Parker, Shaun Kellogg, Avril Smart

March 2013

The North Carolina Race to the Top (RttT) professional development plan is an expansive and multi-faceted effort to increase student achievement by updating the knowledge and skills of the state’s entire public education workforce. This initiative is driven by a host of recent changes, including: adoption of new Common Core State Standards and North Carolina Essential Standards; increased use of data to inform classroom and school decisions; rapid changes in the technologies and digital resources available for teaching and learning; new teacher and administrator evaluation processes; and an increased emphasis on formative assessment to inform instructional decisions.

The human resources challenge of the initiative—to provide the state’s 100,000 teachers and 2,400 principals with professional development that will enable them to extend their knowledge, improve professional practices, and, ultimately, increase student achievement overall and close achievement gaps among student groups—is formidable. The timeframe (the four-year period of the grant), diversity of the State (from large metropolitan local education agencies [LEAs] to small, rural, and resource-limited LEAs, many of which continue to struggle under the weight of fiscal constraints), and expectations (to create a statewide professional development infrastructure that can be sustained after RttT funding ends) only increase that challenge. The RttT professional development evaluation is being conducted in full recognition of these circumstances, as well as of the deep commitment of the members of the RttT Professional Development Implementation Team. The intent of the evaluation is to provide data-driven information that can support reflection about and improvement of this effort throughout the RttT grant process.

View the Executive Summary

View the Full Report

For more information, visit the FI Evaluation Team’s website.