Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: STAR Act Introduced, Sets School Turnaround as a National Priority
Press Release

RELEASE: STAR Act Introduced, Sets School Turnaround as a National Priority

Washington, D.C. — At an event today at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and the U.S. Department of Education announced the introduction of the School Turnaround and Reward, or STAR Act. Senator Hagan’s bill would reward schools that make progress and provide assistance to schools that are struggling.

“We need ESEA to be reauthorized this year in order to build on the reform momentum that’s building in the 50 states. Turning around struggling schools is crucial to making sure that all students have access to a high-quality education,” said Cynthia Brown, Vice President for Education Policy at the Center for American Progress.

School turnaround is a key component of the Obama administration’s blueprint for reauthorizing ESEA. And through the STAR Act, Sen. Hagan has made school turnaround a top priority for reauthorization.

The STAR Act closely aligns with recommendations CAP released a few weeks ago in “Incentivizing School Turnaround," which recommends specific federal-level action that would directly impact struggling schools by providing significant resources, requiring substantial reforms, and holding schools accountable for making progress. The paper highlights four strategies Congress should implement:

  • Target federal turnaround funds to high-need schools and districts ready to reform.
  • Use student and achievement data to identify the interventions districts and schools should implement.
  • Boost state capacity to support school-level reform through building leadership pipelines, clustering turnaround schools, and creating state turnaround units.
  • Construct sensible evaluation, reporting, and accountability policies that foster substantial school improvement.

To access the full paper, click here. To view the discussion of the STAR Act at today’s event, click here.