One of the Obama administration’s signature efforts in education, which pumped billions of federal dollars into overhauling the nation’s worst schools, failed to produce meaningful results, according to a federal analysis.This program was an experiment; the idea was to give bad schools a million dollars or so to reinvent themselves. While a few schools were very successful, they were balanced out by many more that achieved no measurable improvement.
Test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received money through the School Improvement Grants program — the largest federal investment ever targeted to failing schools — than in schools that did not. The Education Department published the findings on the website of its research division on Wednesday, hours before President Obama’s political appointees walked out the door. . . .
The School Improvement Grants program has been around since the administration of President George W. Bush, but it received an enormous boost under Obama. The administration funneled $7 billion into the program between 2010 and 2015 — far exceeding the $4 billion it spent on Race to the Top grants.
The money went to states to distribute to their poorest-performing schools — those with exceedingly low graduation rates, or poor math and reading test scores, or both. Individual schools could receive up to $2 million per year for three years, on the condition that they adopt one of the Obama administration’s four preferred measures: replacing the principal and at least half the teachers, converting into a charter school, closing altogether, or undergoing a “transformation,” including hiring a new principal and adopting new instructional strategies, new teacher evaluations and a longer school day.
Monday, January 23, 2017
Education is Hard, Continued
Via the Post, the Obama administration is issuing a depressing report on its own school reform efforts: