Recommendations for Differentiating Services to Support Schools Designated for Targeted Support and Improvement

Recommendations for Differentiating Services to Support Schools Designated for Targeted Support and Improvement

Julie Corbett & Carlas McCauley

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), as the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, includes major revisions to the law in terms of how states design their accountability systems and provide supports aimed at improving academic outcomes in their lowest-performing schools. ESSA defines a category of schools, called Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools, which must develop and implement a support-and-improvement plan that targets improvement for a particular subgroup (or subgroups) of students. This paper delves into the TSI designation, draws out some lessons learned from prior education reform work (particularly efforts to improve schools with an earlier, similar designation of being focus schools), and makes the case for providing support to TSI schools that is differentiated according to the particular needs of different schools and districts.