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State Success in race to the Top Due in Part to College Goals
In November 2009, the Department of Education took a revolutionary step when it required states to set college enrollment and credit accumulation goals in their Race to the Top applications. Forty states and the District of Columbia applied in Phase 1, with several more states expressing intent to apply in Phase 2.
College Summit analyzed all 41 Phase 1 applications, uncovering which states addressed college-going concerns most successfully.
Applications varied widely across a number of college-going factors. These variations included the extent to which the goals were ambitious and achievable; what plans, if any, the state had for achieving these goals; and whether the state set college-going goals at all.
The states that internalized the college-going message produced applications that more fully captured the push for innovation that Race to the Top entails. Focusing on the State Success Factor goals of increasing college enrollment and credit accumulation rates allowed states to tie the measures taken under the four assurances together with a cohesive reform agenda.
The most innovative states also recognized that working through the four assurances would, without more, be insufficient to truly push college-going rates. These states recognized that, without a deliberate focus on college-going culture and college planning as a core component of the strategy, a key factor is missing from the reform necessary to increase college enrollment rates.
The two states that ultimately won Phase 1, Delaware and Tennessee, were both on College Summit’s list of six states that were truly innovative in addressing postsecondary outcome goals.
Read College Summit’s analysis of Race to the Top applications.
Feature article focuses on Peer Leaders and their role in building college-going culture
PBS's NewsHour recently aired a segment with Judy Woodruff on the progress St. Louis Public Schools and College Summit have made in improving college-going in the city.
In Their Words is a collection of some of the best student essays from our first ten years.