Since the late 1980s, the statewide systems change granting process has emerged as a mechanism in education by which federal interests in systemic educational reform are promoted. These reforms have occurred across the educational spectrum, with initiatives in special education (i.e., transition), vocational education (i.e., school-to-work), and general education (i.e., Goals 2000). While there have been differences in form and structure across these initiatives, there have been many commonalities, including, for example, application processes by states; federal intent on eventually funding all states; large-scale, multi-year funding; flow-through dollars to state agencies or a consortium of state agencies; an expectation of state funding of local demonstration efforts; meta-evaluation projects; and technical assistance to state grantees. This article highlights similarities and differences among these three major systems change initiatives. Discussions of these similarities and differences are presented along with thoughts about the efficacy of different elements of the statewide systems change initiative as a policy mechanism for promoting educational reform.