School Stimulus Cash Comes with Some Limits

According to the article below from USA Today, President Obama will be distributing $11.5 billion to state schools that comply with reform rules, which include:

  • tougher academic standards,
  • better ways to recruit and keep effective teachers,
  • a method of tracking student performance, and
  • a plan of action to turn around failing schools.

Why the urgency for reform?  Statistics tell us:

  • Every year, 1 million kids drop out of high school
  • Only 71 percent of kids graduate from high school within four years, and for minorities, the numbers are even worse –
  • 58 percent for Hispanics and 55 percent for African Americans.

One of the major players in the reform movement is Bill Gates, who supports Obama’s priorities and sees his foundation as part of a larger reform effort.  In his annual letter released earlier this year and first appeared in Forbes magazine, Gates credits his own high school, Lakeside in Seattle, for making a huge impact in his life:

“The teachers fueled my interests and encouraged me to read and learn as much as I could. Without those teachers I never would have gotten on the path of getting deeply engaged in math and software. . . . Research shows that there is only half as much variation in student achievement between schools as there is among classrooms in the same school. If you want your child to get the best education possible, it is actually more important to get him assigned to a great teacher than to a great school.”

To read the letter, visit:

Part of Gates’ strategy focuses on learning why some teachers are so much more effective than others and how best practices can be spread throughout the education system so that the average quality goes up. Gates plans to work with some of the best teachers to put their lectures online as a model for other teachers and as a resource for students.

One of LifeBound’s missions is to equip teachers for the 21st Century classroom through our academic coaching classes held twice a year in Denver.  For more information, please visit and click on coaching.

  • How can we give teachers the tools to measure their progress and keep improving?
  • How can we close the gap between students who get the opportunity to make the most of their talents and those who don’t?
  • How can we reform and strengthen America’s schools for the 21st Century?


USA Today

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is ready to hand out more stimulus dollars for schools, but this time, strings are attached.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said another $11.5 billion is available to states, which have already received more than $67 billion.

Duncan said the administration wanted to distribute most of the money quickly to bolster state budgets that have been ravaged by the recession.

To read the entire article visit


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