Education Secretary Arne Duncan has proposed new rules for distributing $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement Grants to turn around the nation’s lowest performing schools. The plan includes flexibility for districts to close struggling schools, replace staff, or adopt a "transformational model" that aims to change the whole school culture, according to each school’s needs.

"If we are to put an end to stubborn cycles of poverty and social failure, and put our country on track for long-term economic prosperity, we must address the needs of children who have long been ignored and marginalized in chronically low-achieving schools," said Duncan,...

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