In the last two debates, President Barack Obama has told the nation that one of his biggest accomplishments on K-12 is helping to spur turnarounds at hundreds of underperforming schools around the country.
“We’ve seen progress and gains in schools that were having a terrible time. And they’re starting to finally make progress,” Obama said during the third presidential debate in Florida, earlier this week.
Even though he didn’t mention it by name, Obama was clearly referring to the School Improvement Grant program—by far the administration’s biggest initiative aimed at fixing low-performing schools. The program was actually first authorized in 2002 under the No Child Left Behind Act, but the Obama administration “supercharged” it, pouring $3 billion into it under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and requiring states to employ one of four highly controversial turnaround models.