"Are Low-Performing Schools Adopting Practices Promoted by School Improvement Grants?"
Not really, according to a research brief on the $3 billion School Improvement Grants program just released by the Institute of Education Sciences, the U.S. Department of Education's statistical arm.
None of the schools participating in the survey that used the most common turnaround models available under the Obama administration's SIG program—"turnaround," which calls for getting rid of the principal and half the staff; and "transformation," which calls for a broad range of strategies, including extended learning time and performance pay for educators—did absolutely everything they were encouraged to do. The report relies on a survey of administrators at low-performing schools, including some that were implementing SIG and some that were not.
However, more than 96 percent of schools in the survey have tried the most popular turnaround practices, which include using data to inform instruction, using technology to bolster teaching and learning, and giving educators time to collaborate.
Vol. 34, Issue 11, Page 5Published in Print: November 5, 2014, as School Improvement