$6 billion buys inSIGnificant gains

School Improvement Grants were supposed to produce “dramatic” improvements in our most troubled schools, writes Andy Smarick. Arne Duncan “transformation not tinkering.”  After two years and $6 billion — several million dollars per low-performing school —  SIG is “the greatest failure in the U.S. Department of Education’s 30-plus year history.”

A third of SIG schools got worse. The “increased proficiency” touted by the Education Department represents the same modest gains showed by “all other U.S. schools that didn’t get these huge cash infusions.”

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  1. Since throwing money at schools hasn’t worked for the last 40+ years, why not start with some changes that would cost little or nothing? (1) Old-fashioned conduct policies and removal of disruptive students, period (separate classes or schools), (2) group by instructional need in each subject, such that struggling kids get immediate help and more time, top students can move ahead to more and deeper material and all students get to work at a their zpd.