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ERIC Number: ED535862
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 29
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Turning around the Nation's Lowest-Performing Schools: Five Steps Districts Can Take to Improve Their Chances of Success
Baroody, Karen
Center for American Progress
Across the country, states and school districts are focusing on turning around the nation's lowest-performing schools. Unprecedented federal Race to the Top and School Improvement Grant funding accompanied by a more prescriptive approach for using the funds has raised the profile of turnaround efforts. This focus on school turnaround, while welcome, is not new. State, district, and school leaders have been trying for years to turn around persistently low-performing schools. But while some schools have made significant gains in student achievement, results overall are decidedly mixed. One of the overarching reasons for the uneven results is that districts generally have failed to recognize that persistently low-performing schools face unique challenges that require aggressive, customized, and sustained interventions. Education Resource Strategies, Inc., or ERS, has identified five steps that districts can take in designing and implementing their school improvement programs that will increase the probability that their efforts will achieve lasting improvement: (1) Understand what each school needs; (2) Quantify what each school gets and how it is used; (3) Invest in the most important changes first; (4) Customize the strategy to the school; and (5) Change the district, not just the schools. There is no silver bullet--no single solution for how to turn a failing school around. But by taking these five steps district leaders can improve their probability for sustainable and scalable success. (Contains 26 endnotes.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Race to the Top