California’s Race to the Top: A Road Map for Round Two


Delaware and Tennessee were the only states to win Round One of the race to the Top (RTTT) competition, thanks to their bold and innovative education-reform plans and a keen focus on improving student outcomes. These two states, as well as the 14 others chosen as finalists in the competition, have blazed a path for the rest of the nation.

Although California’s size, diversity, and financial situation do set it apart, its uniqueness does not mean the state has nothing to learn from the promising reform plans submitted by other states.

This “Road Map for Round Two” of the RTTT competition analyzes why California lost, how other states did better, and what California can and should do differently to win in the second round. The clock is running down; the stakes are high. The state should swiftly move to take advantage of opportunities to get back in the game.

More Posts

Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.