One Third of Schools Receiving Stimulus-Funded 'Student Improvement Grants' Showed Declines

November 24, 2012

Three years ago, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced that the Obama administration would spend $3.5 billion -- including $3 billion in stimulus funding -- on Student Improvement Grants. The money, he said, would "support the transformational changes that are needed to turn around the nation's lowest-achieving schools."

Now, after the Obama administration spent up to $2 million per school at more than 1,300 of the nation's lowest-performing schools, the data shows that one third of schools receiving SIG funding had declines in achievement -- a "not surprising finding," the Education Department said, "given the steep institutional challenges that these schools face."

"There's dramatic change happening in these schools, and in the long-term process of turning around the nation's lowest-performing schools, one year of test scores only tells a small piece of the story," Duncan said on in a Nov. 19 news release.

But the Education Department says in three main areas, there are signs of "positive momentum" and progress:


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