School Turnaround Models Draw Bipartisan Concern
The Obama administration’s prescription for turning around low-performing schools—particularly the models districts must follow in making those improvements—is raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill, as Congress gears up for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the four models for intervening in perennially foundering schools spelled out in the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations for the $3.5 billion School Improvement Grant program are inflexible, particularly for schools in isolated, rural areas, and don’t put enough emphasis on factors such as the need for community and parental involvement.
“These four choices are interesting, but they’ve got to be fleshed out here,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee at a hearing on the topic May 19. “There’s a portfolio of things you need to...
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