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ERIC Number: ED507412
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
Improving Low-Performing Schools: Lessons from Five Years of Studying School Restructuring Under No Child Left Behind
Scott, Caitlin
Center on Education Policy
This report synthesizes findings from five years of state-level research and local case studies of school restructuring by the Center on Education Policy (CEP). The research reported here began in Michigan in the summer and fall of 2004 and gradually expanded to include five additional states--California, Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Ohio--as well as 23 districts and 48 schools in the six states. More than 260 state officials, local administrators, teachers, and other school staff have been interviewed for these studies. Several common findings have emerged from the local case studies of school restructuring in six geographically diverse states: (1) All of the case study schools that raised achievement enough to exit restructuring used multiple, coordinated strategies, which they revised over time; (2) All case study schools that exited restructuring used data frequently to make decisions about instruction and regroup students by skill level; (3) Replacing staff helped improve many schools but sometimes had unintended negative consequences; and (4) Most case study schools that did not exit restructuring used similar strategies but experienced setbacks or needed more time or information. The state-level research also revealed common findings about the impact of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and related state policies on state efforts to improve low-performing schools: (1) Differences in state accountability systems have led to uneven and sometimes unmanageable numbers of schools in restructuring; (2) Federal restructuring strategies have not shown promise, and all six states in our studies have moved away from these options; (3) All six states have begun targeting supports to the most academically needy schools or districts; (4) All six states have leveraged additional support for schools in improvement by relying on partnerships with other agencies and organizations; (5) All six states have increased their use of needs assessments to diagnose challenges in restructuring schools; (6) All six states have increased on-site monitoring or visits to restructuring schools; and (7) Funding increases for school improvement grants under the Title I program for disadvantaged children may help schools improve. (Contains 5 tables and 3 footnotes.) [This report was written with the assistance of Elizabeth Duffrin, Maureen Kelleher, and Brenda Neuman-Sheldon.]
Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: California; Georgia; Maryland; Michigan; New York; Ohio
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
IES Cited: ED565615