School turnarounds are possible, but they take a concerted effort with strong leadership and persistent, achievement-oriented collaboration among staff. Here we share tools to help principals take the actions that successful turnaround leaders take, develop competencies that support those actions, and lead a team of teacher-leaders to help every teacher and student excel—fast.
These tools and materials are built on a decade of experience with school turnarounds and several decades of research about successful turnarounds across sectors. Schools with student-growth among the highest in their districts and states have used these tools.
Resources to help principals make rapid change in schools:
- Turnaround School Planning Tools for principals
- Turnaround Competencies and Actions—Principals and Teachers
- Recruiting and Selecting Turnaround Principals, Teachers, and Teacher-Leaders
- Turnaround Leader 360 Feedback Assessment (a for-fee assessment for principals)
- More Resources
Add multi-classroom leaders—teacher-leaders who lead excellence schoolwide—to your school:
- Redesign your school for teacher-leadership and consistent excellence: OpportunityCulture.org
- See the multi-classroom leadership model
Instructional Team of Leaders & Multi-School Leadership
Public Impact has been a field leader with its cutting-edge turnaround research, new solutions, and practical tools for over a decade.
For principals in turnaround schools, creating an Instructional Team of Leaders (ITL) is essential to achieve turnaround success. This differs from old-style instructional leadership teams: ITL members include accountable teacher-leaders who help other teachers excel day to day, not just administrators. Principals empower their teacher-leaders to build their leadership skills through supporting teachers, monitoring interim data as a team, and driving school-wide initiatives.
Opportunity Culture (OC) schools extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams, for more pay, and within budget. The teacher-leaders, called Multi-Classroom Leaders (MCLs), gain time to plan and collaborate with teachers to improve student achievement. In high-poverty Opportunity Culture schools, MCLs are part of the principal’s Instructional Team of Leaders to ensure instructional excellence school-wide. Having MCLs or similar teacher-leaders schoolwide is an essential ingredient for a rapid, sustained school turnaround. In many schools, other teachers, including those on MCLs’ teams, also reach more students with blended learning or specialization.
In addition, Public Impact launched next-generation thinking about career paths for principals: allowing great principals to extend their reach by leading a small number of schools, for more pay, while developing principals and aspiring principals on the job. This in combination with multi-classroom leadership can turn schools into leadership machines and provide every educator with the support they need to help more students succeed.
- The Big U-Turn: How to bring schools from the brink of doom to stellar success
- Ashley Park PreK-8 Launches Multi-Classroom Leadership and Blended Learning
- Career Paths and Pay in an Opportunity Culture
- New Career Paths
- Shooting for Stars: Cross-Sector Lessons for Retaining High-Performing Educators
- Expanding the Pipeline of Teachers and Principals in Urban Public Schools: Design Principles and Conditions for Success