Reason enough to gut, if not dismantle altogether, the Department of Education is this bit of waste [emphasis in the original]. I disagree, though, that there was no effect. Those $7 billion clearly had an effect of Arne Duncan’s cronies and those of his staffers in the upper reaches of the DoE.
Despite its gargantuan price tag, [School Improvement Grant program] SIG generated no academic gains for the students it was meant to help. Failing schools that received multi-year grants from the program to “turn around” ended up with results no better than similar schools that received zero dollars from the program. To be clear: billions spent had no effect.
From The Washington Post:
Test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received money through the School Improvement Grants program—the largest federal investment ever targeted to failing schools—than in schools that did not.
The Education Department did not track how the money was spent, other than to note which of the four strategies schools chose.
Andy Smarick, American Enterprise Institute resident fellow:
Think of what all that money could have been spent on instead.