School Improvement 2010 Grants
ED5263 Fundamentals of Integrated Thinking
American College of Education
For the Module 2 Application, I chose to focus on school improvement grants for my data set analysis. This data set was of particular interest to me since I was interested to find out whether or not there as a correlation in the funds received and the state’s ranking nation wide regarding academic achievement and success. I was interested to determine whether or not the funds received had a substantial effect on the academic success for the state as a whole.
According to the information provided by Data.Gov (School Improvement 2010 Grants, 2015) regarding school improvement grants, the following stipulations had to be met by each state when applying for the available funds:
Since President Obama took office, Congress has appropriated more than $4 billion to help turn around the nation’s lowest-performing schools. States were awarded nearly $3.5 billion in School Improvement Grant funds in 2010 to turn around their persistently lowest achieving schools. School districts then applied to state for the funds this spring. When school districts applied, they were required to indicate that they would implement one of the following four models in their persistently lowest achieving schools: Turnaround Model: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies. Restart Model: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization. School Closure: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district. Transformation Model: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.
After creating the data analysis chart, I was able to determine that Florida received the greatest amount of funds (approximately $43 million), Pennsylvania received the second highest amount of funds (approximately $28 million), and California took the third highest amount of funds (approximately $20 million). Then, using a USA TODAY article (Frohlich, 2015), I was able to determine the highest-ranking schools in America. According to Frohlich’s article, the number one state for academic performance in America is Massachusetts, followed by New Jersey being ranked number two and finally Maryland being ranked number three.
According to my analysis of the data graph regarding school improvement grants and my research regarding state academic performance, there does not appear to be a correlation with the amount of funds received in grants making a difference (positive or negative) on that state’s overall academic performance and subsequent rankings nationally.
The following excerpt from Mackenzie’s article regarding Public School Funding and Performance (Mackenzie, n.d.) emphasizes this lack of correlation between funds and achievement:
There is a widespread belief that public school systems are wasteful and inefficient, and that an increase in per-student funding will do little or nothing to improve student performance. Every year the College Board releases average SAT scores for college-bound high-school students by state, and critics of public education regularly point out that some states with low per-pupil spending on schools such as North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee deliver consistently higher average SAT scores than high-spending states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Delaware.
In conclusion, after analyzing the data graph and school rankings, there does not appear to be sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that a higher rate of state grant money will result in higher academic rankings or achievement.
Frohlich, T. C. (2015, January 15). States with the Best Schools. USA Today. Retrieved June 5, 2016, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/01/15/247-wall-st-states-best-schools/21388041/
Mackenzie, J. (n.d.). Public School Funding and Performance. FREC/CANR University of Delaware. Retrieved June 5, 2016, from http://www1.udel.edu/johnmack/research/school_funding.pdf
School Improvement 2010 Grants. (2015, March 13). Retrieved June 3, 2016, from http://catalog.data.gov/dataset/school-improvement-2010-grants