The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included $3 billion for School Improvement Grants. Of course there’s an acronym, “SIG.”
The program awarded grants to states that agreed to implement one of four intervention models in their lowest-performing schools: transformation, turnaround, restart, or closure.
We now have a report (pdf) from the Federales that evaluates the effect of those funds. In short:
- Overall, across all grades, we found that implementing any SIG-funded model had no significant impacts on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment.
- When we compared student achievement gains from different models in elementary grades (2nd through 5th), we found no evidence that one model was associated with larger gains than another. For higher grades (6th through 12th), the turnaround model was associated with larger student achievement gains in math than the transformation model. However, factors other than the SIG model implemented, such as baseline differences between schools implementing different models, may explain these differences in achievement gains.
Is it any wonder, then, that our Board of “Education” does not know how to fix Richmond’s awful schools?