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ERIC Number: EJ864134
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep-2
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Tight Leash Likely on Turnaround Aid: Radical Steps Proposed as Price for Title I Grants
McNeil, Michele
Education Week, v29 n2 p1, 20-21 Sep 2009
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that he plans to demand radical steps--such as firing most of a school's staff or converting it to a charter school--as the price of admission in directing $3.5 billion in new school improvement aid to the nation's 5,000 worst-performing schools. In sharp contrast to the current free-flowing nature of Title I school improvement aid, the education secretary is proposing strict conditions on the new funds, which would not only be aimed at elementary schools, but also at what he termed high school "dropout factories" and the middle schools that feed into them. In exchange, the federal Department of Education could waive key components of the Title I program, such as the requirement that schools needing improvement under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act offer tutoring and public school choice, according to draft regulations released last week. The school improvement grants are made possible by $3 billion from the economic-stimulus package and $546 million from fiscal 2009 appropriations--and are meant to be spent by school districts over the next three years. The money will flow to states based on the Title I formula for aid to disadvantaged students, but states will award the money competitively to local districts. Historically, school improvement grant money has flowed to school districts with little to no strong direction from the federal government, so the proposed new regulations mark a sea of change for these grants. Never before has the amount of money dedicated to school improvement been so large. In identifying which schools would be eligible for the money, the department would require states to give preference to the lowest-achieving 5 percent of schools in the state, including middle and high schools. Although other low-performing schools could be eligible for money, too, they would not have to agree to adopt one of the four reform models. To encourage school systems to use a variety of reform strategies, districts that have nine or more Title I schools in school improvement under the NCLB law would be barred from using the same turnaround model for all schools. For accountability purposes, schools, districts, and states would be required to monitor and track student-achievement data as it relates to the use of the school improvement funds. In addition, the Education Department would undertake a national evaluation of the grants.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: customercare@epe.org; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A