Race to the Top!

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Follow this page for the latest news regarding the District School Board of Pasco County's eligibility for Race to the Top funds.
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Latest Race to the Top News

Pasco Overview

The RTTT grant includes 13 goal areas. When Pasco submitted its grant application, the district chose the following activities to meet the requirements. They are briefly described below.

Goal Area 1 - Expand lesson study – approximately half of the schools have been trained; the remainder will be trained by the end of 2013-14.

Goal Area 2 - Expand STEM Career and Technical Program offerings – started a new biomedical program at RHS this year.

Goal Area 3 - Increase advanced STEM coursework – PHS and RHS have started AVID, a program to increase participation and engagement of their students in the academic middle. Overall, more advanced coursework options are available at schools across the district.

Goal Area 4 - Bolster technology for improved instruction and assessment – over one million dollars was spent in the 2010-11 school year to increase network infrastructure and computer capacity. Met student/computer ratio in secondary schools; still need more computers overall.

Goal Area 5 - Improve access to state data, Single Sign On (SSO) & Goal Area 6 - Use data to improve instruction, Local Instruction Improvement System (LIIS) – these two goals have been “merged” into the QUEST project that will result in a new student information and instruction improvement system (replacing TERMS), which is just getting underway.

Goal Area 7 - Provide support for educator preparation programs – the district has revisited how interns are assigned and efforts were made to place interns at schools with higher percentages of staff openings than other schools.

Goal Area 8 - Improve teacher and principal evaluation programs – new teacher and administrative evaluation system is in its second year of use.

Goal Area 9 - Use data effectively for human capital decisions (pay for performance) – Five schools will receive pay for performance supplements for 2011-12 as soon as evaluations are completed, three did receive it in 2010-11, and nine schools are scheduled to receive it for 2012-13. In 2013-14, all schools are eligible.

Goal Area 10 - Focus effective professional development – an overhaul of this system is required in both RTTT and Student Success Act. Work is ongoing to pursue job-embedded, differentiated professional development, and to connect it to CCSS or NGSSS where applicable.

Goal Area 11 - Improve persistently low achieving schools & Goal Area 12 - Implement proven programs for school improvement – work has occurred in this area for the last three years at RHS (the school that met the criteria for inclusion at the time the grant was submitted).

Goal Area 13 - Include charter schools –one Pasco charter school is participating – Dayspring Academy.

What is Race to the Top?

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (commonly referred to as the stimulus package), the federal government set aside $4.35 billion in competitive grant funding (known as Race to the Top) to encourage and reward states that have aligned their educational policies with specific national priorities.

Race to the Top and District Initiatives: Connecting our Work

Our vision is to create a community which works together so all students will reach their highest potential.

Guiding Principles for Pasco’s Vision

To live our vision, three strategic focus areas have been chosen

To help all students meet or exceed high academic standards, the district has pursued a multi-year focus on instructional best practices.  In its efforts to live the vision, there have been federal, state and local impacts as demonstrated below.

Pasco’s Multi-tiered Systems of Support Framework (including PSRtI)



Local Result

RTTT, IDEA / DA, F.S. 1003.57

Expand Lesson Study

Common planning, selected schools participate in lesson study


Expand STEM Career and Technical Program offerings

Adding Career Academy STEM classes and increasing students graduating with industry certification

RTTT / F.S. 1003.492, .498, .43

Increase advanced STEM coursework

AVID, more advanced coursework courses

RTTT / Senate Bill 4 (2010) & FLDOE

Bolster technology for improved instruction and assessment

Computers are added or upgraded so students may complete online assessments, additional End of Course Assessments, and increased use of computer-based testing for FCAT


Single Sign-on

Work is beginning in this area

RTTT  / F.S. 1006.281

Local Instructional Improvement System (LIIS)

Improved access to student performance data (ie. PascoStar 4, formative assessments, tailored professional development).  Meet minimum standards in the 9 components by 2013-2014


Increased collaboration between district and collegiate teacher preparation programs

Interns placed in schools with consideration for high vacancy rates or low performing schools

RTTT / Senate Bill 736 (2011-1), VAM    /  F.S. 1012.2315

Improve Teacher & Principal Appraisal System

At least 50% of evaluation based on student growth, advanced degrees must be in teaching field for pay, appraisals to be used for key employment decisions-reductions in staff, transfers, etc.


Develop a different Compensation System

RHS piloted 2010-2011, 4 schools (D & F grades) must be included in 2011-2012, all by 2013-2014

RTTT/ Professional Development Protocol Standards  Sec. 1116(b)(3)(A)(iii)/ Strategic Plan

Focus effective Professional Development  

Must expand Lesson Study and ensure high-fidelity of implementation in classroom

Race to the Top Resources and Further Reading


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Kurt S. Browning, Superintendent of Schools
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