Starting Fresh in Failing Schools

The Role of Charter Restarts in School Reform

Written by on August 20, 2013. Posted in Charter School Features, Help for Charter Schools, Starting Fresh in Failing Schools

The Role of Charter Restarts in School Reform: Honoring our Commitments to Students and Public Accountability

Charter Restarts coverThe report, prepared by Daniela Doyle and Tim Field for NewSchools Venture Fund, explores a variation on school closure where a charter school’s operator and governance (board) changes, while the school continues to serve the same students — charter school “restarts.” The report examines how charter restarts fit within the larger context of charter school quality and accountability and describes how restarts have played out at five charter schools. It concludes with a series of recommendations for board members and charter authorizers interested in pursuing a restart strategy.

Starting Fresh in Low-performing Schools

Written by publicimpact on June 22, 2010. Posted in Other Restructuring Strategies, Starting Fresh in Failing Schools

Starting Fresh in Low-performing Schools

startingfresh3Public Impact is also working with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers on a series of publications specifically on “starting fresh” – the chartering and contracting options. The series includes an overview and how-to guides on selecting the right providers, engaging parents and community, and setting clear contract terms.

Garnering Public Support for Dramatic Change in Failing Schools

Written by publicimpact on May 16, 2011. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, Parents and Community, School Turnaround Features, School Turnaround Success Strategies, Starting Fresh in Failing Schools

Building Family and Community Demand for Dramatic Change in Schools

Change thumbnailDistrict-led, dramatic change efforts in failing schools—including turnarounds and school closures—often face strong resistance from families and communities. Resistance may be based on years of tension and distrust between districts and communities, failed past school improvement efforts, or a lack of understanding about the chasm between a failing school’s performance and what is possible. We asked what districts and community organizations have done to engage families and communities in demanding dramatic change in their schools and how various stakeholders have been involved in establishing shared values and goals for change, choosing from available options, and holding districts accountable for improving outcomes for children. This report and related presentation share lessons learned about the barriers districts and communities across the country have faced in building community demand for dramatic change as well as strategies for overcoming those barriers. The report includes three vignettes about efforts to build community demand for dramatic change in Denver, Philadelphia, and Chicago schools. Report [pdf]  Presentation [pdf]

Starting Fresh: A New Strategy for Responding to Chronically Low-Performing Schools

Written by publicimpact on September 4, 2009. Posted in Other Restructuring Strategies, Starting Fresh in Failing Schools

Starting Fresh: A New Strategy for Responding to Chronically Low-Performing Schools

This report, co-authored by Bryan Hassel and Lucy Steiner and funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, outlines a new approach states can use to respond to schools that continue to struggle despite interventions and accountability measures. Under the “starting fresh” strategy, the state or district essentially opens a new school within the walls of the existing schools. The report discusses why states and districts should add this approach to their toolboxes, and examines the practical challenges of implementing a starting fresh strategy.

What Works When

Written by publicimpact on September 4, 2009. Posted in Other Restructuring Strategies, School Turnaround Success Strategies, Starting Fresh in Failing Schools

School Restructuring Options Under No Child Left Behind: What Works When

whatworkswhenPublic Impact has developed this series of resources in conjunction with the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. The series includes a guide to help district and state leaders [33 MB pdf] choose the best restructuring option for each school, updated in a 2nd edition released in 2009, and white papers identifying what we know from research about when the first four restructuring options under NCLB work: reopening as a charter school, contracting with external providers, turnarounds with new leaders and staff, and state takeovers.

Considering School Turnarounds: Market Research and Analysis

Written by publicimpact on September 4, 2009. Posted in School Turnaround Success Strategies, Starting Fresh in Failing Schools

Considering School Turnarounds: Market Research and Analysis

consideringschoolturnaround[pdf] One strategy for turning around low-performing schools is to contract with management organizations to operate the schools. Public Impact helped Mass Insight Education conduct a market analysis of the environment for school restructuring by charter management organizations in six target urban areas: Chicago, the District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, and Philadelphia for NewSchools Venture Fund. The report revealed interest in this approach to restructuring in three of the districts (Chicago, NYC, and Philadelphia). But even in those districts, constraints prevent this strategy from being widely used. Most notable is the gap between the kinds of autonomy school operators require and the level districts are currently able to offer.

Using Chartering to Meet Demands of NCLB

Written by client test site - 5 on October 30, 2008. Posted in Starting Fresh in Failing Schools

Using Chartering to Meet Demands of NCLB

In this federally funded initiative, Public Impact partnered with Education Commission of the States to help states and districts use chartering to meet relevant requirements of No Child Left Behind. Through meetings of policymakers and a series of publications on critical issues, the project focuses on using chartering to create new options for families and to intervene in chronically low-performing schools.

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