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1/3 of Schools Receiving Stimulus-Funded ‘Student Improvement Grants’ Showed Declines

Home - by - November 24, 2012 - 08:00 America/New_York - 9 Comments


Three years ago, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced that the Obama administration would spend $3.5 billion — including $3 billion in stimulus funding — on Student Improvement Grants. The money, he said, would “support the transformational changes that are needed to turn around the nation’s lowest-achieving schools.”

Now, after the Obama administration spent up to $2 million per school at more than 1,300 of the nation’s lowest-performing schools, the data shows that one third of schools receiving SIG funding had declines in achievement — a “not surprising finding,” the Education Department said, “given the steep institutional challenges that these schools face.”

“There’s dramatic change happening in these schools, and in the long-term process of turning around the nation’s lowest-performing schools, one year of test scores only tells a small piece of the story,” Duncan said on in a Nov. 19 news release.

But the Education Department says in three main areas, there are signs of “positive momentum” and progress:

The first year of data (beginning in the 2009-2010 school year and ending in the 2010-2011 school year) shows the following:

– Two thirds of schools showed gains in math, and two thirds showed gains in reading.

– A larger percentage of elementary schools showed gains than did secondary schools– “suggesting that it is easier to improve student performance at a young age than to intervene later.”

– Seventy percent of elementary schools showed gains in math, and seventy percent showed gains in reading, a higher percentage of improving schools than was found in middle or high schools.

– Some of the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities.



  1. Dr. Tar

    November 24th, 2012

    “given the steep institutional challenges that these schools face.”

    Translation given the teacher’s union, overbloated school administraions, Democrats in control of the school board and local government that all combine to create the perfect storm of no reform, no school choice and overspending on teach union and administrative salaries and benefits.

    But hey throw in another $billion or so and we’re sure to get those test scores up.

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  2. Diann

    November 24th, 2012

    Rush made a really great point a couple weeks ago. He said the reason we’ve lost the country is because the Liberals play a long game where Republicans can’t see beyond the next election. Part of the Liberal Long Game was taking over the education system.

    It’s time for Conservatives to switch to the long game. Pursue on the state level school choice & voucher programs. Do everything we can to undermine the public school system. Contribute to organizations that have non-profit private schools in inner cities. Get our long game on and let’s bring down the Liberal stranglehold on our educational system.

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  3. Xavier

    November 24th, 2012

    Part of a starburst campaign to help justify taxing the evil rich “for the children”.

    Notice they didn’t identify the one third that declined? $10 says they’re urban schools in cities under long term liberal control.

    And why is the data restricted? I thought this was the most transparent administration ever.

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  4. Chinquapin

    November 24th, 2012

    SIG is an acronym for “School Improvement Grant,” not “student” improvement. If you want to improve the students, you’ve got to improve the parent(s). Note to lib/progs–chronic dependency is NOT an improvement.

    Diann, you’ve got it right! Federal government involvement in our schools has been a colossal disaster, and maybe intentionally so. An educated voter is a threat to the establishment. We have the least-informed electorate in the history of our nation, and we are paying the price.

    I am happy to be in a state (Louisiana) that is beginning to wrest a portion of the education dollar away from the establishment and offering it to business and industry, factions which–unlike the government–MUST HAVE educated citizens.

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  5. Ten Megaton

    November 24th, 2012

    On a lighter note I have observed the usual general mayhem at the Black Friday sales across the country.
    Some people are idiots. Quite a few actually. Sad when you have to arm yourself to go Xmas shopping. Should be a Congressional investigation or something don’t you think? Oblome could sink a few billion bucks to determine why his constituents are morons.

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  6. loshonhora

    November 24th, 2012

    my liberal sister is putting her kids in liberal charter type schools. i asked her why she didn’t trust the public school system. no answer…

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  7. Billy Fuster

    November 24th, 2012

    Keep paying your taxes, fools.

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  8. Cynic

    November 24th, 2012

    Proof that more money will not solve the problem. A rational person would stop spending.

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  9. Annie

    November 24th, 2012

    Listen to this: ya’ know the booster clubs that raise monies for specfic schools’ band programs and athletics, etc. In my school district there is movement that those monies will have to be shared with “less affluent” schools within the district. The kick is property taxes provide 13K/student in the less affluent schools and 6K/student in the affluent schools.

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