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http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/119633

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

All that money spent and nothing changed

According to a report just released by the Department of Education (DOE), the Obama administration gave over $7 BILLION in an education program first begun by Pres. George W. Bush, and it was found to have made the same difference on student achievement that it would have made if they just handed the Department of Education a bag of chips instead. 

Seven billion is the same as seven thousand million. It would take about 221 years to count that high by ones every second . . . that's a lot of time and a lot of chips. 

The DOE's findings were contained in the "School Improvement Grants: Implementation and Effectiveness" report and may spark the debate over national education policy as the Senate considers Betsy DeVos to head the department. She is an outspoken champion of school choice and had questioned the way federal education dollars are spent, and should be to her advantage in terms of her confirmation.

The School Improvement Grants (SIG) program was introduced under the G.W. Bush administration in 2001. Its purpose was to fund school reforms in the country's lowest-performing schools. Its goal was to improve student achievement in test scores and graduation rates. 

The program threw money at the schools with low academic achievement and graduation rates under 60 percent for high schools. SIG was canceled under recent legislation, but similar funding can still be sought by school districts who believe that if you do the same thing over and over and still get the same results, you just have to keep at it.

SIG was first funded in 2007 and got $616 million under Bush.

In 2009, under Obama, he designated $3.5 BILLION to the program and pumped over $500 million annually for the rest of his time in office trying to turn us into Europe. And the more money pumped in, the more nothing changed.

The DOE report focused on data from about 500 schools in 22 states receiving SIG money and concluded the program had "no significant impact" on reading or math test scores; high school graduation; or college enrollment.

Researchers of the study focused on districts with larger samples of schools, and these schools tended to be more urban and more disadvantaged. They decided to put as much money as possible into the program to make it work, "which led us to this dramatic report: what happened was what has always happened in the past," said then-Secretary Arne Duncan. 

So they knew it was a lost cause and proceeded anyway. 

DeVos believes charter schools need more funding and full autonomy. 

In cities like New York, charter schools do very well because they're not under the union thumb and principals can hire and fire based on ability and performance. Unions tend to protect the weakest link in the proverbial chain and "burnt-out" teachers abound.

But the best solution to the problem of school achievement begins at home: family values would change everything and single-parent families need to become the exception, not the norm.