The who, what, when, where, & how of school turnaround

“Why” we do this work and “why” we launched this blog should be self-evident. Every day millions of American children languish in low performing schools. Those same schools account for a remarkable portion of our nation’s achievement gaps: the gap between the wealthy and impoverished, the gap between white children and their African-American and Latino classmates, and the gap between native speakers of English and English language learners. These achievement gaps undermine the potential of our children, while also weakening the economic and creative strength of our country.

So, why should we take on this daunting challenge?

First, and most importantly, the students in those schools – our country’s most overlooked and under supported members of society – will benefit.  Enough said.

Second, dramatically improving our most troubled schools sends an important message about the potential for reform. Some critics of education reform believe that schools are the victims of broader social ills, and are therefore powerless in the face of poverty and other predetermined factors. We must move past the paralysis encouraged by such thinking and demonstrate that, while schools are not immune to these factors, an aligned and effective system, combined with a strong program and talented educators can produce dramatic and measurable change in American schools.

And finally, we must learn how that improvement can happen by establishing proof points for best practice in turnaround, school reform, and district management. This is a nascent field and while The School Turnaround Strategy Group team knows a few things about school turnaround, we continue to learn as the space grows and as we attempt new strategies and interventions. We must be relentless in our pursuit of new information, whether through evidence collected via practice and implementation or cross-sector research. To continually improve, we must utilize this data, on both successes and failures, to try new strategies and adapt them as our needs change.

We will use this blog to provide information on where promising turnaround strategies are happening, who’s doing it, who’s NOT doing it, and what’s hot in the field right now.  We’ll link to some of the leading people and organizations in education reform, argue constructively with folks we disagree with, and offer different perspectives with a guest blogger from time to time.

While we’ll bring you the turnaround news, please continue the conversation in the comments or email us (turnaround@massinsight.org) with turnaround tips. Check back often!

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One Response to The who, what, when, where, & how of school turnaround

  1. Marc Clark says:

    A welcome voice to the ongoing conversation…equity, excellence, and efficiency…..or as other voices once said: No justice, No peace…..Each one, teach one

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