American Institutes for Research Experts Coauthor Brief Examining Schools Receiving Federal School Improvement Grants

Washington, D.C. – Experts with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), in collaboration with Mathematica Policy Research, wrote and conducted the analysis forOperational Authority, Support, and Monitoring of School Turnaround,” a research brief examining low performing schools that receive federal School Improvement Grants. The study looks at school operational authority, state and district support for the turnaround effort, and state monitoring of school turnaround progress.

The research brief, released January 8, 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), is part of a large-scale evaluation of School Improvement Grant (SIG) and Race to the Top (RTT) programs.

“This research brief compares low-performing schools receiving SIG support with schools not receiving these grants to gather insights on how much authority principals have to make decisions, the amount of support they receive for school turnaround, and the monitoring of turnaround efforts,” said Cheryl Graczewski, coauthor and AIR project director.

For example, states, districts and schools almost universally reported providing or receiving some type of turnaround support, although SIG schools were no more likely than comparison schools to report receiving supports in most areas examined. “Schools implementing a SIG-funded intervention model were more likely than comparison schools to report receiving supports in three of twelve areas examined,” Graczewski said.

The research brief is available on the IES, AIR and Mathematica websites.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit

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