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Race to the Top's challenges command attention to low performing schools by incentivizing states to beef up support, create higher standards, build turnaround capacity and exam teacher equity.
In an effort to reduce overlapping or ineffective programming, low performing schools now have more flexibility with federal cash. For example, 20% of Title I dollars can go to turnaround efforts under a SIG plan.
Low performing schools are identified through graduation rates and student performance on state tests.
ESEA Flexibility (NCLB waivers) allows states to redefine how they target low performing schools. These schools are grouped into categories based on student performance, graduation, poverty and other indicators. Once placed in one of the new categories, state's offer a series of systematic and customized interventions and support services.
School Improvement Grants fund the improvement of low performing schools. Schools dictate their own needs and can use the money on a wide variety of intervention services including preschool, mentorship programs and administration development.