Three years ago, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced that the Obama administration would spend $3.5 billion — including $3 billion in stimulus funding — on Student Improvement Grants. The money, he said, would “support the transformational changes that are needed to turn around the nation’s lowest-achieving schools.”

Now, after the Obama administration spent up to $2 million per school at more than 1,300 of the nation’s lowest-performing schools, the data shows that one third of schools receiving SIG funding had declines in achievement — a “not surprising finding,” the Education Department said, “given the steep institutional challenges that these schools face.”