Turning around persistently low-performing schools is a critical problem facing our nation. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education launched an ambitious effort to address that challenge, investing $3.5 billion to fund the School Improvement Grant’s (SIG) Recovery Act program. As part of that initiative, funded under a combination of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and Title I School Improvement funding of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Montana received $11.57 million to support SIG-eligible schools.
The Montana Office of Public Instruction released a report tracing the process involved in identifying schools in need of improvement and developing and implementing plans to turn around those schools. The report offers the state’s educational stakeholders some insight into the multiyear process as well as holding lessons for others involved in the challenging work of school turnaround.