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Report: Turnaround Efforts Largely Unsuccessful

Report: Turnaround Efforts Largely Unsuccessful

According to newly released analysis from federal researchers, the Obama administration's efforts to help states turn around under-performing schools through over $3 billion in funding since 2008 has proven to be too difficult to accomplish.

The brief, released by the Institute of Education Sciences, revealed that most states "did not have the staff, technology and expertise to pull those schools out of the bottom rankings," according to The Washington Post.

Many schools reported that the process for change was too difficult to adhere to. The Obama administration gave $3.5 million through School Improvement Grants to 1,500 and directed them to focus on worst-performing schools under the agreement that the school would "adopt one of four strategies favored by the administration:

Replace the principal and at least 50 percent of the staff; close the school and enroll students in another, better-performing school; close the school and reopen it as a charter school; or transform the school through new instructional strategies and other techniques.

The report revealed that 58 percent of these schools said it was too difficult to accomplish despite 84 percent saying improving the worst schools had been a top priority.

Eighty percent of states and the District told federal researchers that their states had at least one significant gap in expertise needed to significantly improve the worst schools.

Results on whether or not schools that received School Improvement Grants are inconclusive. In 2013, preliminary research "found that about a third of the schools that received School Improvement Grants improved, a third of the schools performed about the same, and a third got worse," according to the Post.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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