Districts & States: Turnaround Support

New Orleans-Style Education Reform: A Guide for Cities

Written by publicimpact on March 9, 2012. Posted in Charter School Features, Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Features, School Turnaround Success Strategies, State and Federal Charter School Policy

New Orleans-Style Education Reform: A Guide for Cities

NSNO coverPublic Impact teamed up with New Schools for New Orleans to develop a guide for cities interested in dramatically growing their charter school sectors as part of an effort to turn around persistently low-performing urban school systems. This Guide builds on dozens of interviews with education and community leaders in New Orleans, insights from national experts who have supported the rebuilding efforts, and research and reporting on New Orleans’ education reforms. Centered around three key strategies: 1) strong governance and accountability, 2) building human capital pipelines to fuel the growth of schools and 3) incubating new schools and growing proven schools into networks, the Guide illustrates recommendations with vignettes of work done by bold school leaders and reformers.

The Guide also looks toward long-term sustainability of this new system, exploring topics such as building community demand and support for school reforms, developing a fiscally-balanced system that doesn’t rely long-term on philanthropy, and planning ahead for the new types of challenges that face a decentralized system of schools in areas such as transportation, equitable access, and transparent system oversight.

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]

Leading Indicators of School Turnarounds: How to Know when Dramatic Change is On Track

Written by publicimpact on March 17, 2011. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Features, School Turnaround Success Strategies

Leading Indicators of School Turnarounds: How to Know when Dramatic Change is On Track

Leading-Indicators-of-Schoo[pdf] In school turnarounds, leading indicators can provide early evidence about whether a school is on track – and if not, how to intervene to increase the odds of success. In this report, we summarize the research and experience from other settings in which leaders have long relied on leading indicators to enhance the likelihood of success. From these lessons, we identify key principles and processes to guide the design and use of leading indicators in education. We also present a starting list of leading indicators and a proposed monitoring timetable for district, state, and other education leaders to use in turnaround schools. Read more…

Importing Leaders for School Turnarounds: Lessons and Opportunities

Written by publicimpact on July 16, 2011. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, Recruit, Select, and Keep Education Talent, School Turnaround Features, School Turnaround Leaders, Teachers and Leaders Features, Turnaround Leaders: Competencies & Actions

Importing Leaders for School Turnarounds: Lessons and Opportunities

Importing Leaders for School Turnarounds-1One of the biggest challenges in education today is identifying talented candidates to successfully lead turnarounds of persistently low-achieving schools. Evidence suggests that the traditional principal pool is already stretched to capacity and cannot supply enough leaders to fix failing schools. But potentially thousands of leaders capable of managing successful turnarounds work outside education, in nonprofit and health organizations, the military, and the private sector. If only a fraction of those leaders used their talents in education, we could increase the supply of school turnaround leaders significantly. In this report prepared by Public Impact for the University of Virginia’s Partnership for Leaders in Education, Julie Kowal and Emily Hassel explore lessons about when and how organizations in other sectors import leaders – including how they tempt people away, train them, and foster their success – to inform efforts by state and local leaders to import talent for failing schools.

The Big U-Turn

Written by publicimpact on September 3, 2009. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Features, School Turnaround Leaders, School Turnaround Success Strategies, Turnaround Leaders: Competencies & Actions, Turnaround Teachers: Personnel Strategies

The Big U-Turn

uturncover In Education Next Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel describe six leadership strategies that recur in successful school turnarounds. Using the NYC Police Department and Continental Airlines, the authors explain the importance of focusing on a few early wins, breaking organizational norms, pushing rapid-fire experimentation, getting the right staff, driving change with data, and running a “turnaround campaign” to build support for change.

 

Try, Try Again

Written by publicimpact on September 6, 2009. Posted in Big Ideas for Education, Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Features, School Turnaround Success Strategies

Try, Try Again

trytryagain[pdf] Tripling The Number of Fixed Failing Schools Without Getting Any Better at Fixing Schools. How? By shortening the time that passes before recognizing failure and retrying major change. Most initial efforts to fix failing schools will fail (just like 70% or more major change efforts and start-ups across sectors fall short). But if policymakers commit to faster “retry rates” – one or two years – the cumulative success rate in failing schools can be much higher.

Rapid retry won’t be easy: we’ll need strong “leading indicators” that show which efforts are on-track, and a ready supply of leaders and school operators to step in when initial efforts fail. But the payoff would be dramatically higher rates of success in fixing failing schools. Read more in our Try, Try Again slide deck. (pdf)

Successful School Turnarounds: Seven Steps for District Leaders

Written by publicimpact on October 22, 2009. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Leaders, School Turnaround Success Strategies

Successful School Turnarounds: Seven Steps for District Leaders

CenterIssueBriefSept09-1[pdf] One promising strategy to dramatically improve chronically low performing schools is known as a “turnaround” – a quick, dramatic, sustained improvement in performance brought about by a highly-capable leader. This type of change is different from what many have tried in the past: the changes are bigger and faster, and the press for success is relentless. Turnarounds also require different types of support and flexibility from district leaders. In this Issue Brief, prepared by Public Impact for The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement at Learning Point Associates, we offer seven steps for district leaders to support the dramatic change required to turn around chronic low performance. Steps include: making a commitment to dramatic change, choosing turnarounds for the right schools, developing a pipeline of turnaround leaders, providing leaders extra flexibility, holding schools accountable, prioritizing teacher hiring for turnaround schools, and proactively engaging the community. A webcast with summary recommendations is available here.

School Turnarounds in Colorado: Untangling a Web of Supports for Struggling Schools

Written by publicimpact on February 5, 2011. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Success Strategies

School Turnarounds in Colorado: Untangling a Web of Supports for Struggling Schools

donnellKaythumbOver the past few years, Colorado and the nation have dramatically increased their focus on the needs of students in struggling schools, offering a new approach to school turnarounds and directing an unprecedented amount of resources to districts and schools to implement dramatic change strategies. This report, commissioned by the Donnell-Kay Foundation, examines the recent federal and state policies that affect low-performing schools in Colorado and offers several potential areas to strengthen and improve its approach in future years, including building the supply of talent to support school turnarounds, supporting rigorous turnaround strategies, and engaging in rigorous monitoring and rapid retry. Read more…

Racing to the Top with Low Performing Schools

Written by publicimpact on September 30, 2009. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Success Strategies

Racing to the Top with Low-Performing High Schools

rtttopthumbAchieve is a leading national voice for raising expectations for American high schools so that all students graduate ready for what’s next.  To assist the 35 states in its American Diploma Project (ADP) Network, Achieve created a series of briefs on how states could use the U.S. Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” competition to advance their college- and career-readiness agenda.  Public Impact drafted the brief on low-performing schools, providing guidance for states on meeting – and going beyond – the Race to the Top criteria.

School Turnarounds: Exciting and Felicitous or Expensive and Futile? A Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Next debate

Written by publicimpact on February 10, 2010. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Success Strategies

School Turnarounds: Exciting and Felicitous or Expensive and Futile? A Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Next debate

In the Flypaper and Eduwonk blogs and on the pages of Education Next, Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan C. Hassel have engaged in a debate with Fordham’s Andy Smarick about how the nation should address its chronically failing schools. Smarick contends that the only strategy with promise is closing failing schools and replacing them with new start-ups. The Hassels argue that new school creation alone can’t meet the challenge. We need a national strategy that includes both new school creation and classic turnarounds, in which a leader receives “the big yes” to carry out the needed changes. On January 28, 2010, the debate went live. Watch the video webcast here.

School Turnarounds: Doing What Works

Written by publicimpact on September 4, 2009. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Success Strategies, Turnaround Leaders: Competencies & Actions

School Turnarounds: Doing What Works.

learn_btn The School Turnaround section of the Doing What Works website, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, features video interviews with Bryan C. Hassel about the leadership strategies that recur in successful turnarounds and the district’s role in supporting turnaround principals. Julie Kowal offers expert advice about strategies for motivating and redeploying staff, and discusses the district’s role in supporting principals’ staffing changes in turnaround schools.

Guide to Working with External Providers

Written by publicimpact on September 3, 2009. Posted in Districts & States: Turnaround Support, School Turnaround Success Strategies

Guide to Working with External Providers

Originally co-authored by Bryan Hassel and Lucy Steiner, this guide was recently updated by  the Learning Point Associates through funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Science as a resource for schools and districts to gain a better understanding of the issues involved in embarking on a partnership with an external provider. The guide is designed to provide a step-by-step approach to selecting a high-quality provider, establishing an effective partnership agreement, and evaluating the success of the partnership.

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