New school improvement grant requirements provide more flexibility

KnowledgeWorks releases guide to designing innovative state improvement strategies under new requirements

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This Guide to School Improvement Grant Implementation is part of a series released by KnowledgeWorks to help states design innovative school improvement strategies under the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program.After pumping $5 billion into under-performing schools with mixed results, the U.S. Department of Education recently altered the School Improvement Grant (SIG) regulations to focus on early learning and evidence-based models, as well as several additional adjustments.

To help guide states in designing innovative school improvement strategies under the updated SIG regulations, KnowledgeWorks created A Guide to School Improvement Grant Implementation 2015. This publication offers recommendations that will help provide flexibility for states and schools in order to foster the most effective outcomes for SIG investment.

“Ideally, under the new School Improvement Grant requirements, states and schools will be able to build innovative strategies to improve learning for all students,” KnowledgeWorks Director of State Advocacy and Research Jesse Moyer said. “Our guidelines will help states use School Improvement Grants to raise student achievement levels for the learners who need it most.”

KnowledgeWorks’ guide helps provide as much flexibility as possible to allow for innovative school improvement practices. The recommendations focus on state and district capacity, personalized learning, continuous improvement and sustainability.

These 2015 recommendations build off KnowledgeWorks’ previous SIG guide, published in 2011. They are informed by the organization’s strategic foresight into the future of education, and aligned to the District Conditions for Scaling Personalized Learning.

“We hope states will use these recommendations to find and create innovative, flexible strategies for implementing the federal School Improvement Grants,” KnowledgeWorks Vice President Policy and Advocacy Matt Williams said. “By creating space for flexibility, state and local education agencies will start to see improved outcomes at high-need schools.”

About KnowledgeWorks

KnowledgeWorks is a national nonprofit organization advancing a future of learning that ensures each student graduates ready for what’s next. For nearly 20 years, we’ve been partnering with states, communities and leaders across the country to imagine, build and sustain vibrant learning communities. Through evidence-based practices and a commitment to equitable outcomes, we’re creating the future of learning, together.  www.knowledgeworks.org