SIGs likely to cause heat

After spending time with district leaders in NY & LA this week, I was struck by the impending challenge of integrating district accountability and improvement efforts with federal School Improvement Grants. The feds have signaled that $3.5 billion in SIGs will require alignment with four strategies (transformation, turnaround, restart, closure). Directions may even include proportionality between strategies. A large percentage of turnarounds (requiring 50% restaffing) and restarts would mean a huge number of terminations. I don’t know what this means in districts where teachers can’t be fired.

This will be compounded in states winning RttT grants—they will come with similar requirements. The intersection of local, state and federal education policy will be heated and dynamic over the next 24 months.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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