First to the Top

In 2010, Tennessee was awarded $501 million by the federal government’s Race to the Top competition. Tennessee’s First to the Top program centers on five areas of improvement: Great Teachers and Leaders, Standards and Assessments, Data Systems to Support Instruction, Turning Around Low-Performing Schools, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education. In addition, Tennessee has made a commitment to increasing student achievement, college and career readiness, and increasing access and success in post-secondary education. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission manages six projects that represent $20 million. Additional information on First to the Top work in Tennessee can be found at