February 20, 2012 | Posted At: 11:37 AM | Author: Alexander Russo | Category: Media Watch , NCLB News , Obama Administration , On Maryland Avenue
Turnarounds: The SIG Mystery
The Denver Post is running a three-part series on the challenges and flaws of the federal SIG school turnaround program you might want to read. The first installment, from yesterday, explores the money being spent on consultants and the lack of transparency. The second, which runs today, focuses on the limited impact of SIG funding in a high poverty district near Denver. SIG is Race To The Top's lesser-known step-sibling (even though it's sent more money to a broader set of schools than Race ever will). It's NCLB's weak "restructuring" sanctions, pumped up steroids. It's an easy program to beat up on -- the massive spending, the permissive (or limited) turnaround options , the lack of speed and quality of implementation. I've never quite understood how it rose to such prominence and size in the Obama administration, or how Team Duncan and the White House anticipated that school closings and restaffings of SIG would be blamed on NCLB as much as the current Administration.