The Federal School Improvement Grant Program in Rural Virginia Schools




McMurrer, Jennifer

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study examines the preliminary impacts of the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, as measured by the state assessments, in the 23 rural-recipient schools across the state of Virginia as well as the program implementation efforts in one purposefully selected rural-recipient school. The study uses a mixed method research design. The purpose of the study is to learn more about the implementation of the federal SIG program in rural contexts as well as school and district officials' perceptions of the federal requirements under the program. Study findings show overall mean gains in test scores in reading and mathematics over a four to five-year period using scores that preceded receipt of the grant but also show some declines since the first year of SIG implementation. Findings from an in-depth case study of one select rural-recipient school offer illustrative detail about SIG program implementation, including more detail about school test scores; the importance of local context, opportunity, flexibility, and adaptation for school improvement; positive and challenging elements of the program; and goals for continued growth and sustainability in a rural setting.



Education policy, Public policy, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Case study, Federal program, Mixed method, Rural, School improvement