Magazine article Technology & Learning

A Portrait of School Improvement Grantees

Magazine article Technology & Learning

A Portrait of School Improvement Grantees

Article excerpt

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In the last year, the federal government has invested $3.5 billion dollars in an effort to fix the nation's bottom 5 percent of public schools. In the coming months, it will roll out another $546 million dollars to do the same. The initiative is known as the School Improvement Grant, or SIG, program. It is the largest pot of federal funds ever aimed at improving a discrete set of the worst-performing schools.

The SIG program is not the first federal investment in fixing low-performing schools, but it does represent a new approach, one that, if the Obama administration prevails, will find its way into the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Whereas the No Child Left Behind Act relies exclusively on absolute measures of proficiency to measure school performance, SIG allows states to choose their most troubled schools based on their own formulas that combine absolute proficiency with measures of student learning growth over time. …

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