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School Turnaround is the dramatic intervention in a low-performing
school that both produces significant achievement gains within two years and prepares the school for long-term transformation into a high performing organization. (Mass Insight) At the core of all turnaround intervention models are six research-based principles: 1) effective school leadership and teaching 2) redesigned school schedule to increase instructional time 3) rigorous and aligned instruction 4) use of data for continuous improvement 5) safe and healthy students and 6) family and community engagement.
Overview of Intervention Models.
Required Changes Transformation Turnaround Restart Closure Optional changes Transformation
Replace the Principal, and restructure the way teachers are hired, the instructional supports teachers receive, learning time, and school governance Replace the Principal and at least 50% of the teaching staff, and restructure the way teachers are hired, the instructional supports teachers receive, learning time, and school governance Convert, or close and re-open, the school as a charter school, or under the control of an education management organization. Current students would have preference to reenroll in this school Close the school and enroll the students in a higher-performing school in the district
Increase academic rigor by offering opportunities for advanced coursework (such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate; or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics course), early-college high schools, dual enrollment programs, or thematic learning academies Establish early-warning systems to identify students who may be at risk of failing to achieve to high standards or graduate Increase learning time and create community-oriented schools Partner with parents and parent organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, health clinics, other State or local agencies, and others to create safe school environments that meet students’ social, emotional, and health needs Implement approaches to improve school climate and discipline or take steps to eliminate bullying and student harassment Implement a per-pupil school-based budget formula that is weighted based on student needs Permissible activities under the transformation model listed above; or implement a new school model (e.g., themed, dual language academy)
Buffalo-Rochester Parent Trigger Coalition ©2012
(Source: US Education Department)
ARRA —American Recovery & Reinvestment Act AYP — Adequate Yearly Progress CBO — Community-Based Organization CMO—Charter Management Organization is a non-profit organization that operates or manages charter schools by centralizing or sharing certain functions and resources among schools EMO –Education Management Organization is a for-profit or non-profit organization that provides “whole-school operation” services to an LEA LEA—Local Education Agency or school district SIG—School Improvement Grant, a federal grant program to fund the turnaround of persistently lowest achieving schools SMO — School Management Organization
More than 5,000 schools, representing 5% of schools in the United States, are chronically failing. The number of failing schools has doubled over the last two years, and without successful interventions, could double again over the next five years. There is an estimated 2.5 million students in failing schools in America. Failing schools are more likely to be high-poverty, high-minority, urban schools in comparison to schools nationwide. They are also more likely to be high schools. Fewer than 15% of high schools produce half of the nation’s 1.2 million dropouts. Nearly three-quarters (74 %) of turnaround schools are implementing the transformation model — the model of least dramatic change.
Race to the Top Funds (RTTT). $4.35 billion in competitive grants to states, with turnaround being one of four focus areas. School Improvement Grants (SIG). $3.55 billion allocated to states according to a formula based on Title I funding levels, to be granted out competitively to districts within each state. Investing in Innovation Fund (i3). $0.65 billion in competitive grants awarded to nonprofits and school districts to expand innovative and evidence-based approaches that significantly improve student achievement, including those related to school turnaround.
Parents and School Turnaround
Because turnaround requires schools to undergo significant and in some cases dramatic change, resistance from within the system is to be expected. Within this landscape, parents and community- and faith-based organizations can play the critical role of rallying support for turnaround efforts and building public will for dramatic reform efforts. Turnaround also provides parents with new opportunities to rethink and restructure their school’s parent and community engagement programs as well as implement other parent priorities. (See “optional changes” on page 1 chart.)
“Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform — reform that raises student achievement… and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans.” — President Barack Obama
Buffalo-Rochester Parent Trigger Coalition ©2012