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Baseline Analyses of SIG Applications and SIG-Eligible and SIG-Awarded Schools
NCEE 2011-4019
May 2011

4.3. Characteristics of SIG-Eligible and SIG-Awarded Schools

Exhibit 13 provides summary characteristics of SIG-eligible schools, SIG-awarded schools, and all schools nationwide. Compared to the overall population of elementary and secondary schools, SIG-awarded schools in the 49 states (and the District of Columbia) for which data on SIG awards are available are more likely to be high-poverty, high-minority, urban schools.

SIG-awarded schools are also more likely to be high schools: high schools constitute 21 percent of schools nationwide and 19 percent of SIG-eligible schools, but constitute 40 percent of SIG-awarded schools. In four states (Alaska, Delaware, Georgia, and Illinois), all of the SIG-awarded schools include high school grades, and in another four states (New Mexico, Mississippi, Oregon, and Texas), over 75 percent of the SIG-awarded schools are high schools.

Exhibit 14 depicts the poverty levels in SIG-eligible and SIG-awarded schools by tier. Among SIG-eligible and SIG-awarded Tier I schools, 73 percent and 70 percent, respectively, are high poverty (i.e., schools in which at least 75 percent of students received free or reduced-price lunch). Tier II and III schools are less likely to be high poverty than Tier I schools—37 percent of SIG-eligible Tier II schools and 36 percent of SIG-awarded Tier II schools are high poverty; among Tier III schools, 47 percent of SIG-eligible schools have high poverty enrollments, compared to 35 percent of SIG-awarded schools.

Exhibit 15 shows the minority levels (i.e., the percentage of non-white students) in SIG-eligible and SIG-awarded schools by tier. Among SIG-eligible and SIG-awarded Tier I schools, the percentage of high-minority schools (those with at least 75 percent minority enrollment) is 85 percent and 86 percent, respectively. The percentage of high-minority schools is similar for SIG-eligible (51 percent) and SIG-awarded (54 percent) Tier II schools, although at levels lower than those observed for Tier I schools. Among Tier III schools, SIG-awarded schools are less likely to be high minority than SIG-eligible schools—32 percent of SIG-awarded schools were high-minority, compared to 55 percent of SIG-eligible schools.

The SIG Final Requirements (section II.A.2(b)) specify that an LEA with nine or more Tier I and Tier II SIG-awarded schools may not implement the transformation model in more than 50 percent of those schools. Among the states with available data, thirteen districts have nine or more SIG-awarded Tier I and Tier II schools and are subject to this requirement (see Exhibit 16).

Focusing on all three tiers of SIG-awarded schools, the minority of schools (359 of the 1,228 SIG-awarded schools, or 29 percent) are the only SIG-awarded school in their district, while the majority of districts with SIG-awarded schools (62 percent) have only one SIG-awarded school (see Exhibit 16). In contrast, 43 districts (7 percent of the 576 districts with SIG-awarded schools) across 24 states and the District of Columbia have 5 or more SIG-awarded schools. The district with the largest number of SIG-awarded schools is Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with 46 SIG schools, which accounts for 4 percent of all SIG-awarded schools (see Exhibit 17). Additionally, 170 of the 576 districts with SIG-awarded schools serve only Tier III schools.

Exhibit 18 displays the distribution of SIG intervention models adopted for SIG-awarded Tier I and II schools. Among the 49 states and the District of Columbia with available data, the transformation model was the predominant choice: this model was adopted for 603 (74 percent) of the SIG-awarded Tier I and Tier II schools. In 16 states, the transformation model was the only intervention model adopted for SIG-awarded Tier I and II schools (see Appendix C). In 11 states and the District of Columbia, schools are implementing three of the four intervention models, and, in three states—California, Colorado, and Pennsylvania—all four intervention models are represented. The adoption of intervention models varied significantly by urbanicity: the transformation model was adopted for 96 percent of rural SIG-awarded schools, compared to 66 percent of urban SIG-awarded schools. Likewise, while the turnaround model was adopted for 26 percent of urban SIG-awarded schools, it was adopted for just 2 percent of rural SIG-awarded schools (these differences are significant at the p ≤ .05 level).