Education Week, the Education Writers Association and The Hechinger Report partnered with 18 news outlets in 16 states to investigate how $3 billion in federal School Improvement Grants are being used to revitalize some of the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Interviewing scores of students, teachers, researchers and education officials at all levels of government, participating reporters set out to determine how the money is being spent and whether the changes it sparks are likely to last.

What’s the payoff for $4.6 billion in School Improvement Grants?

By Alyson Klein

After two years, the federal program providing billions of dollars to help states and districts close or remake some of their worst-performing schools remains an ambitious work in progress, with roughly 1,200 turnaround efforts under way but still no verdict on its effectiveness. The School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, supercharged by a $3 billion windfall […]

States with School Improvement Grants seeking more time  to create new teacher evaluation systems

Federal teacher evaluation requirement has wide impact

By Sarah Garland

Elliott Elementary in Lincoln, Ne., struck off on its own last year when it became the only school in the city to win money through the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. Winning wasn’t something to be proud of, though: It meant the school qualified as one of the worst in the nation. About a […]

School funding remains below 2008 levels  in most states

Trying to turn around schools while slashing budgets

By Andrew Brownstein

For the casual visitor, it’s easy to miss that Southeast High School in rural Kansas—once among the lowest academic performers in the state—is in the midst of a profound transformation. Like so many other Kansas schools, the building in Cherokee (population: 722) shows the telltale signs of a suffering economy. Bus routes have been cut, […]