Education Policy Analytics Lab

November 6, 2015

Gradually Turning Around: Evidence from Lowest-Performing Schools that Received School Improvement Grants.

Since 2010, there have been considerable resources channeled toward the lowest-performing schools nationwide through School Improvement Grants (SIGs). However, research demonstrating the effectiveness of SIGs is very limited. This study draws on a decade of longitudinal data and uses a difference-in-difference strategy to provide important evidence on program impacts across the full three-year duration of the SIG award in one large urban school district. Although there are gradual improvements in the first two years of reform, we find particularly positive effects of SIG interventions on student achievement in the third year. This pattern is consistent with the anticipation that comprehensive school turnarounds need time to allow positive changes to take place.