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Congress to Investigate School Turnaround Companies

From guest blogger Dakarai I. Aarons:

Questions have been raised about some of the companies chasing the $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement Grants to target the bottom 5 percent of America's schools, and now Congress is jumping in the act.

As The New York Times pointed out in a recent story, some of the companies certified by states as school turnaround partners have no experience actually improving the fortunes of low-performing schools—or any school, for that matter.

Rep. George Miller, the California Democrat who chairs the House Education and Labor Committee, announced today that he will hold hearings to look into who's in line to get this money and if they are qualified for the job.

"...with increased focus on school reform under this administration, it seems some companies with little or no expertise in education are purporting to be experts in school turnaround to try and take advantage of available federal money," Miller said in a news release. "Companies who are hired to help turn around schools as partners should have the best expertise and the best qualifications. I plan to hold a hearing and use the committee's oversight authority to investigate the process of hiring providers to help turn around schools."

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