This brief by the Center for American Progress summarizes some of the available research on the impact of national School Improvement Grants (SIG), which were given to districts in exchange for implementing specific reforms in their lowest-performing schools. The research review highlights five critical elements of successful turnaround: (1) aggressive action on the part of school districts; (2) resources and requirements; (3) governance and staffing changes;(4) data-drives decision making; and (5) a focus on school culture and nonacademic supports for disadvantaged students. The piece also includes case studies of four schools that have successfully made gains in student achievement as a result of turnaround efforts. The overall message is: turnaround is possible if implemented strategically.
Read it here.