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Report: Teachers in SIG Schools Worried About Sustaining Improvement

The School Improvement Grant program—at least as the Obama administration envisioned it—is a thing of the past, thanks to the Every Student Succeeds Act.

But the feds have poured more than $7 billion into SIG since it supercharged the program in 2009. And in some places, schools have, indeed, made gains. So will that progress be sustained?

Teachers in SIG schools worry it will not, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Science. The report, which was based on a three-year study by researchers at the American Institute for Research and Mathematica, followed 12 SIG schools through three years in the program.

Two of those schools appeared to have strong prospects for sustainability, according to teacher surveys. Six schools appeared to have mixed prospects for sustainability. And the remaining 4 schools appeared to have weak prospects for sustainability, the report said.

Maybe unsurprisingly, schools that focused on professional development and put strong organizational systems in place early on seemed to have the best prospects for sustaining their gains, the report found.

And, more often than not, teachers at the SIG schools that got extra support from their districts reported that these outside efforts weren't particularly helpful. In a separate survey, just 10 out of 22 schools that got extra district support thought it had a positive impact on their turnaround efforts.

Here's a look at how students in the various schools studied perceived their schools' improvement at different points along the way:

 SIG chart.PNG

For more on SIG—including a profile of a Kentucky school's turnaround journey—check out our turnaround collections page

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