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Federal Education Programs » NCLB School Improvement » ARRA School Improvement Grants

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Special Reports on School Improvement Grants

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer
Published: July 11, 2012

This series of three special reports examines implementation of the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. The first special report, Schools with Federal Improvement Grants Face Challenges in Replacing Principals and Teachers, looks at how states, districts, and schools are addressing challenges related to SIG staffing requirements. The second special report, Increased Learning Time Under Stimulus-Funded School Improvement Grants: High Hopes, Varied Implementation, highlights key findings about state, district, and school experiences related to the requirement to increase student learning time in SIG-funded schools. Findings in these first two special reports draw on survey data from 46 responding states and case study research in Idaho, Maryland, and Michigan, published in earlier CEP studies. The third special report, Changing the School Climate is the First Step to Reform in Many Schools with Federal Improvement Grants, examines the positive changes in school climate experienced by six case study schools that received the federal grants in Idaho, Maryland, and Michigan.

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Opportunities and Obstacles: Implementing Stimulus-Funded School Improvement Grants in Maryland, Michigan, and Idaho

Author(s): Caitlin Scott, Jennifer McMurrer, Shelby McIntosh and Kenne Dibner
Published: March 20, 2012

This report examines the implementation of the federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) program by drawing on research conducted in three states, seven school districts, and 11 schools -- including schools that were eligible for but did not receive a SIG award. The study looks at how the federal program requirements are working within the state and local context, the progress made during the first year of the three-year grant implementation, and the different approaches being used to improve student achievement in schools that received SIG funds compared to schools that were eligible for but did not receive grants.

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State Implementation and Perceptions of Title I School Improvement Grants under the Recovery Act: One Year Later

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer and Shelby McIntosh
Published: March 20, 2012

Based on a winter 2011-12 survey of state directors of the federal Title I program, this report examines the first year of state implementation of the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program.  It focuses on state processes for renewing the SIG awards made for school year 2010-11, state assistance to schools, and general perceptions of the ARRA SIG program requirements. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia participated in the survey.

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Federal Efforts to Improve the Lowest-Performing Schools: District Views on School Improvement Grants

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Diane Stark Rentner
Published: November 3, 2011

This report, based on a nationally representative sample of school districts, examines school districts’ perceptions of key requirements and early school district implementation of the Title I school improvement grants programs funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Turning Around the Lowest Performing Schools: A Noble Goal and a Daunting Challenge

Author(s): Jack Jennings
Published: April 7, 2011

In this blog posted on April 7, 2011 in the Huffington Post, Jack Jennings describes the intent and weighs the prospects for success of President Obama’s initiative to make improvements in the nation’s lowest performing schools. The blog draws on the research conducted by CEP on schools needing restructuring under NCLB in assessing the chances for major improvement in these lowest performing schools.

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Early State Implementation of Title I School Improvement Grants Under the Recovery Act

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer, Shelby Dietz, and Diane Stark Rentner
Published: February 23, 2011

This report, based on surveys of state education officials, presents an early look at the states' experiences implementing school improvement grants with funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The report offers a baseline understanding of how increased funding and new school improvement grant requirements have impacted the number and types of schools served as well as how state education agencies are using these funds to assist schools targeted by the program.

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Changing Tires En Route: Michigan Rolls Out Millions in School Improvement Grants

Author(s): Caitlin Scott and Kenne Dibner
Published: February 23, 2011

This report examines Michigan's early implementation of the Title I school improvement grant funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It looks at how many and what type of schools are receiving funding, the school improvement models being implemented, and the type of assistance provided by the state and districts to help improve low-performing schools. The report includes case studies on three SIG-participating schools: Lincoln High School (Van Dyke Public Schools), Romulus Middle School (Romulus Community School District), and Phoenix Multi-Cultural Academy (Detroit Public Schools).

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School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package: School Improvement Grants Present Uncertainty and Opportunity

Author(s): Caitlin Scott and Nancy Kober
Published: August 30, 2010

This report highlights the extent to which school districts have experience with implementing the four federally-mandated school reform models intended to improve the nation’s lowest performing 5% of schools.   Approximately $3 billion was provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for grants to districts to carry out these models.  As of last school year, fewer than 12% of the nation’s school districts had implemented any of the four reform models, and among these districts, there were varying degrees of success with the models.

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CEP Comments on Proposed Requirements for Title I School Improvement Funds

Author(s): CEP
Published: September 30, 2009

On September 24, 2009, the Center on Education Policy submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the proposed requirements for Title I school improvement funds that are provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. CEP's comments are informed by seven years of research on the No Child Left Behind Act, especially detailed work in six states studying their school improvement efforts.

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Letter to Secretary Duncan on Stimulus Package Issues

Author(s): CEP
Published: May 24, 2009

On May 19, 2009, CEP sent this letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan outlining the major issues raised in our April 30, 2009 forum regarding the early implementation of the economic stimulus package as it affects states and school districts. 

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