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ERIC Number: ED535863
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Incentivizing School Turnaround: A Proposal for Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Ayers, Jeremy; Lazarin, Melissa
Center for American Progress
Large numbers of schools across the country are low performing and have been for years. This longstanding and widespread problem painfully reveals that individual schools are not the only ones responsible for their performance. The public school system as a whole is unable, and sometimes unwilling, to address the root causes of dysfunction. Federal policy can play an instrumental role in rectifying the systemic failures that allow schools to flounder. The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, is a ripe opportunity to revise the law's main program that supports school improvement--the School Improvement Grant fund. Therefore, the authors make four recommendations: (1) Target dollars to high-need schools and districts ready to reform so that limited federal dollars make the greatest impact; (2) Use in-depth data to identify the interventions that districts and schools should implement to achieve maximum results; (3) Build the capacity of states to support school-level reform; and (4) Construct sensible evaluation, reporting, and accountability policies that support substantial school turnaround. The authors agree with critics that some aspects of the current School Improvement Grant program could be improved to serve the needs of low-performing schools better. But they disagree that school improvement should be left entirely to states, due to the systemic nature of the problem. Thus, some form of school improvement must be part of a reauthorized ESEA. This paper lays out clear steps the federal government can take to incentivize school turnaround. (Contains 24 endnotes.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001