News

For Immediate Release
October 31, 2011

School Improvement Grants help low performing schools post big gains


2011 Report Card Data shows federal SIG funds making a difference

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that the seven low performing high schools in four districts that received federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds in fall 2011 posted significant improvements on state standardized tests last spring. These seven schools were awarded the federal funds through a competitive application and review process that promises them a combined $40 million over the course of the three year grant.

“The State Board of Education is taking on a much more proactive role in working with our lowest achieving schools and we can already see the benefits,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “These schools are implementing dramatic changes to improve instruction and support services so that students stay in school and are better prepared to succeed in college and careers.”

Under the SIG terms, each district must implement one of four intervention models; Turnaround, Restart, Transformation or School Closure, as approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Money is allocated to each district with the bulk of funds going toward the reform strategy at the specific schools and a smaller portion going toward district oversight. Districts and schools are to receive funds for three years but must go through an annual re-application process. Initial applications were evaluated and scored by review teams made up of national and state experts.

The SIG districts are required to work with one of 16 organizations, called Lead Partners, that have been pre-approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The state agency will also provide technical assistance during the process and each district will have to re-apply for continued annual funding in FY 2013 and FY 2014.

The seven schools receiving SIG funds posted little to no gains in the years prior to receiving the federal grants but nearly all saw gains of several percentage points from 2010 to 2011 on the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE.) Egyptian Sr. High School in Tamms shows the biggest gain with the percent of students meeting and exceeding proficiency in math increasing by 20.6 points while Harper High School in Chicago had an 8.9 point increase for students meeting and exceeding proficiency in reading and a 5.9 point increase in math. PSAE results for the FY11 SIG schools are noted below:

 
2010
2011
School Name
District Name
Read
Math
Read
Math
Egyptian Sr High School Egyptian CUSD 5
44.7
15.8
50
36.4
Fenger Academy High School City of Chicago SD 299
9.3
3.1
13.2
4.6
Harper High School City of Chicago SD 299
10.1
6.5
19
12.4
Marshall Metropolitan High School City of Chicago SD 299
5.9
3.5
9.3
5
Phillips Academy High School City of Chicago SD 299
12
5.3
20.2
14.9
DePue High School DePue USD 103
33.3
22.2
41.7
33.3
Manual High School Peoria SD 150
40.3
36.4
37
40

For a list of all 10 SIG districts and 20 schools funded in FY11 and FY12 awarded funds, please visit http://www.isbe.net/sos/htmls/sip_1003.htm

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