Are Low-Performing Schools Adopting Practices Promoted by School Improvement Grants?
The federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) program aims to improve student achievement by promoting the implementation of four school intervention models: transformation, turnaround, restart, and closure. Previous research provides evidence that low-performing schools adopt some practices promoted by the four models, but little is known about how schools combine these practices.
This brief describes both the individual SIG-promoted improvement practices and the combinations of these practices that low-performing schools reported adopting. Key findings, based on spring 2013 survey responses from 480 school administrators in low-performing schools that were and were not implementing a SIG intervention model, include the following:
- Schools on average reported adopting 20 of 32 improvement practices promoted by the SIG transformation or turnaround models.
- No school reported adopting all practices required under the transformation or turnaround models.
- More than 96 percent of schools reported adopting each of the 3 most commonly adopted individual practices: using data to inform and differentiate instruction, increasing technology access for teachers or using computer-assisted instruction, and providing ongoing professional development that involves teachers working collaboratively or is facilitated by school leaders.
- For 16 of the 32 practices examined, schools implementing a SIG model were statistically significantly more likely than schools not implementing one to report adopting that practice.
- Almost every school reported adopting a unique combination of practices, but certain practices (for example, the 3 most commonly adopted practices listed above) were much more likely than others (for example, using financial incentives to recruit and retain effective teachers and principals) to be included in these combinations.
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