Archive for February, 2015

New study assessing the impact of SIG

The Council of Great City Schools recently released a report assessing the impact of SIG on their member schools & districts. Overall, the study found that the majority of schools did improve, although some of the growth flat lined in years 3 and beyond. Schools also succeeded in reducing the percentage of students in the lowest achievement groups – a key indicator of school improvement.

The study also determined several strategies that appear to increase the chance of improvement, including:

  • A clear, coherent, and coordinated district plan for supporting and turning around the lowest-performing schools—and strong commitment for comprehensively executing this plan.
  • Interventions that were focused on instructional improvements and provided schools with high quality instructional programming and materials.
  • The coordination of instructional interventions and strategies that complemented each other.
  • Professional development that built staff instructional capacity.
  • Principals who were invested in a vision for improvement and were able to communicate these priorities to teachers, staff, students, and the community.
  • Principals who were given the flexibility to make staff changes or remove ineffective educators.
  • The ability to leverage data to identify the specific academic needs of struggling students, determine needs for professional development, and decide on intervention strategies.

Sustainability and implementing with fidelity remains a concern for the use of SIG funds, but this study brings some important nuances to the SIG debate – as previous ED data analysis lacked qualitative research and much of the quantitative data was pulled from the studies (for a variety of a reasons).

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Two new briefs on state policies and practices: Mississippi and New Mexico

Two new briefs from the Center on School Turnaround. 

This brief highlights Mississippi’s Children First Act of 2009, which permitted the creation of a Recovery School District and state takeover of chronically underperforming school districts. The brief includes an overview of the policy, a description of the development process of the policy, explanation of the impact of the policy’s implementation to date, and lessons learned from Mississippi that may support other states interested in implementing similar policies and structures.

The focus of this brief is the New Mexico Public Education Department’s Principals Pursuing Excellence (PPE) program that was launched in 2013. The program was designed to develop a cadre of strong turnaround principals. The brief includes an overview of the program, a description of the program with stakeholder roles and responsibilities, the program’s impact and lessons learned from the program’s implementation.

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