Federal Efforts to Improve the Lowest-Performing Schools: District Views on School Improvement Grant RequirementsReport as inadecuate




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Center on Education Policy

As Congress considers legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, one topic of debate is the program of school improvement grants (SIGs) authorized by section 1003(g) of Title I. SIGs are intended to help to turn around low-performing schools and are part of the larger ESEA Title I program to improve education for disadvantaged children. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided $3 billion in extra funding for section 1003(g) SIGs, which brought the total funding for fiscal year 2009 to more than $3.5 billion. This report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), an independent nonprofit organization, provides information about school districts' experiences in implementing ARRA SIGs that can inform the ESEA reauthorization. This report describes school districts' early experiences in using this infusion of ARRA SIG funding and implementing the new SIG requirements. The information comes from a survey of a nationally representative sample of school districts conducted in late winter and early spring of 2011. Some of the findings are based on responses from all districts in the survey sample, while others are based on responses from the subsets of districts that were eligible for or had received SIG funding. The survey covered a range of topics in addition to SIGs. Other topics in the survey are discussed in a June 2011 report on the fiscal condition of districts (CEP, 2011a) and a September 2011 report on district implementation of the common core state standards (CEP, 2011b). Findings include: (1) ARRA SIG funds were concentrated on a small number of districts, as intended; (2) Most ARRA SIG-funded districts received assistance from their state in implementing improvement models; (3) In the early months of 2011, half of the districts receiving ARRA SIG funds said it was too soon to tell about the results of implementing the transformation, turnaround, or restart models; (4) ARRA SIG-eligible and ineligible districts differed in their views about the effectiveness of key program requirements; (5) Half of the ARRA SIG-eligible districts believe that more than three years may be necessary to improve the lowest-achieving schools; and (6) Among all the nation's districts, there is no clear consensus about the effectiveness of current ARRA SIG requirements. Appended are: (1) Confidence Intervals and Statistical Significance; (2) Study Methods; and (3) Confidence Intervals for Survey Responses. (Contains 7 figures, 1 table and 10 exhibits.)

Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, State Standards, Disadvantaged Youth, Academic Achievement, Program Effectiveness, Statistical Significance, Educational Improvement, School Districts, Educational Change, Educational Legislation, Grants, Low Achievement, Educational Finance, Surveys, Eligibility

Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail: cep-dc[at]cep-dc.org; Web site: http://www.cep-dc.org





Author: Kober, Nancy; Rentner, Diane Stark

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=2635&id=ED526354



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