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ERIC Number: EJ868682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
Turnaround Schools: Leadership Lessons
Leithwood, Kenneth; Strauss, Tiiu
Education Canada, v49 n2 p2, 27-29 Spr 2009
There is a significant strand of theory and research about turning around underperforming organizations; however, very little of it speaks to the unique mission and character of schools. This literature is unambiguous in its claim that leadership is the pivotal explanation for success, suggesting that efforts to better understand the nature of successful school turnaround processes would do well to begin with a focus on successful school turnaround leadership. The province of Ontario provided an especially productive context for the authors' research. Through its newly established Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, the government established clear and ambitious targets for province-wide student achievement, poured significant new resources into districts and schools to assist them in meeting those targets, created teams of people with impressive expertise to work directly with underperforming schools, and made special funds available to schools for professional development and other purposes. Underperforming elementary schools that chose to be part of the province's Turnaround Teams Project were eligible for these additional resources and external sources of assistance. The elementary schools in this study were chosen from the cohort of schools in the Turnaround Teams Project. The study was carried out in two stages. During the first stage, interview data were collected in four elementary and four secondary schools. During the second stage, surveys were sent to a total of 472 teachers and 36 administrators in 11 elementary schools and three secondary schools. Synthesizing the evidence from both stages of the research produced eight key findings about successful turnaround leadership. These findings, while emerging from school-based evidence, are consistent with evidence for successful turnaround leadership to be found in the larger organizational turnaround literature. This should be a source of confidence for school leaders aiming to inform their practice with the best available evidence. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada