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Knowledge From the Field

Smart Options: Investing the Recovery Funds for Student Success

Published: April 2009

Publisher(s): Coalition for Student Achievement

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

View Report (40 pages; 771KB; PDF)
Supplemental Resources

Area of Focus: Education Stimulus - General


The report outlines stimulus funding priorities and actions for governors and superintendents to improve standards, data systems, teacher evaluations, efforts to turn around low-performing schools, and targeted interventions. The report also summarizes the benefits that would be gained from each of the highlighted areas.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

= Develop common American standards. American students should benefit from a common core of fewer, clearer, and higher academic content standards in reading, writing, and mathematics, which prepare them for college and careers.

= Provide data and information that educators, policymakers, and parents can use: good data enables tracking of how well students are being prepared for college and careers, allows teachers to adjust their instruction, offers the transparency needed for good decision making at all levels, and helps to create the momentum for moving forward.

= Conduct meaningful teacher evaluations: the teacher evaluation system is the bedrock of a strong, continuously improving teaching corps.

= Turn around low-performing schools: the infusion of stimulus funds provides the chance to focus substantial resources to begin to dramatically transform the lowest-performing schools--and, in the process, prove that all children can learn at high levels even under the most challenging conditions, with the right leadership, faculty, know-how, and culture.

= Help struggling students: achievement gaps among children of different races and classes remain huge and tend to grow with additional years of schooling.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: ARRA funds; accountability; educational standards; low-performing schools; teacher quality; low-performing schools; at-risk students

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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