Flip to page 22 of this report (PDF) to see the list of Illinois schools eligible for turnaround under the federal School Improvement Grant program. These schools are supposed to be educating 117,000 students but they're apparently not doing such a great job. The report, done by an outside group, criticizes the initiative for being harsh and prescriptive. It's just as big -- $3.5 billion -- as Race To The Top, and goes to all 50 states rather than to just the handful that will get "Race" money (IL is a finalist). It doesn't allow the do-nothing option that kept many failing schools from making changes under No Child Left Behind. But that's been less of an issue in Chicago since the district already had the authority to close or turn around schools on its own, and was very much inclined to do so.
Filed under: When Washington Attacks