A new report from the Center for Reinventing Public Education investigates state-initiated turnarounds, which are intended to improve student achievement in the lowest-performing schools or districts. Such interventions can be difficult to implement successfully and even more difficult to sustain after the initial goals have been achieved. To that end, the report examines ways states can ensure their turnaround strategies are effective and long-lasting.
In the introduction, author Ashley Jochim discusses how the Every Student Succeed Act puts the “responsibility for improving student outcomes” back in the hands of the states and enables them “to craft their own ‘evidence-based’ turnarounds.” However, she asserts that the evidence for such evidence-based turnarounds is sorely lacking. So to inform states about various strategies and the conditions needed for them to succeed, the report examines eleven different initiatives in eight states and how they affect student outcomes.
Jochim reviewed state policies, analyzed studies about the effectiveness of turnaround initiatives, and interviewed stakeholders, such as state chiefs, district staff, educators, and community groups.
In this sample, she identified five distinct types of state-initiated turnarounds: state-supported local turnaround, state-authorized turnaround zones, mayoral control, state-led school takeover, and state-led district takeover. (Studies on mayoral control did not...