Education Next has a short, but attention-grabbing article up about “In the News: $773 Million Later, de Blasio Ends Signature Initiative to Improve Failing Schools.”
But, the article touches on more than the massive failure in New York City, pointing out in general that the massively funded School Improvement Grant program from the Obama era spent $7 billion without much impact.
“The question of how to fix broken schools is a great unknown in education, particularly in big city school districts.”
Certainly, the tale of Kentucky’s Persistently Low-Achieving Schools (later renamed Priority Schools) from the same School Improvement Grant era isn’t particularly encouraging. Our July 2018 open records request for information about what happened to the 47 schools that were in the Persistently Low-Achieving/Priority Schools program shows 31 never exited the Priority status and four of the 31 actually were closed without exiting. So, 31 of 47 schools, or 66 percent, never got well.
In addition, 24 of the Priority status schools were in Jefferson County. Of those, only three, just 13 percent, ever exited this status. So, in Kentucky’s largest school district, the odds of these broken schools, as Shapiro terms it, ever getting better was scarcely better than one in ten. It looks, sadly, like Shapiro’s comment applies in Kentucky as well as in general across other areas of the country.
And, this adds more impetus for parents to want school choices beyond the currently troubled traditional school system.