DURHAM, N.C. – U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) today announced her plans to introduce new legislation focusing on turning around low-performing schools. She was joined by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Rep. David Price at the Durham Performance Learning Center. The School Turnaround And Rewards (STAR) Act will target the bottom 5 percent of schools in each state to implement an intervention model that will ensure significant changes to the structure and operation of the school
.In March, Hagan led 10 other moderate U.S. Senators in outlining their principles for education reform, which are supported by Secretary Duncan. For more information, click here.
“It is unacceptable that in every state in the nation, there are schools that persistently fail to provide children with a quality education,” said Hagan, who is leading a group of moderate Senators in pushing for specific goals to reform federal education law. “Bold and aggressive actions are necessary to turn around failing schools. The STAR Act will provide our teachers, principals and communities with the support they need to change the status quo.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to include the STAR Act in the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind – because our students don’t have time to wait for better schools.”
More than 2,000 high schools in the country, commonly known as “dropout factories,” fail to graduate over 40 percent of entering freshmen, and 1,800 of the most persistently low-performing American elementary and middle schools averaged below 40 percent proficiency in math and reading. Currently under No Child Left Behind, states and districts choose the least intensive option to reform these low-performing schools 75 percent of the time. Studies consistently demonstrate that incremental reforms fail to produce needed improvement in student performance.
The STAR Act creates a state grant program in which school districts can compete for funds to implement one of four intensive intervention models at the state’s bottom five percent of schools. To maximize the effectiveness of school turnaround practices, the bill emphasizes the importance of identifying and disseminating effective school turnaround practices, especially for rural schools.
The legislation also rewards schools that make significant progress in closing their achievement gaps by giving them resources to continue designing innovative programs that maximize student success. For more information on the STAR Act, click here.