Schools Stuck at Bottom Target of $3 Billion Push
It's an unprecedented gamble by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: $3 billion in federal economic-stimulus money aimed at one of the most vexing issues in public education, turning around large numbers of chronically underperforming schools.
The infusion of federal money is intended to supercharge state and district efforts to overhaul their worst-performing schools under a new set of Title I School Improvement Grants . An additional $546 million for the grants has been appropriated for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, and some states will also secure varying amounts of aid for school turnaround efforts under the $4 billion Race to the Top grant competition.
Some observers, however, warn that states and local districts that avoid aggressive interventions such as replacing at least half of a school’s teachers or converting schools to charters—may squander their money and the opportunity to truly...
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