Tools & Systems

This technical assistance strategy focuses on providing tools and establishing systems that will undergird turnaround improvement efforts. The aim is to create tools that seamlessly:

  1. Facilitate access to and application of knowledge;
  2. Build community infrastructure that enhances face-to-face interactions; and
  3. Create efficiencies and support sustainability.

These tools, including online systems, downloadable protocols, and project management software, provide the supports needed to build states’ capacity to manage turnaround activities and deliver technical assistance.


Using Federal Education Formula Funds for School Turnaround Initiatives: Opportunities for State Education Agencies

SEAs play a critical role in helping districts and schools navigate federal grant rules and spend funds effectively. To support SEAs in fulfilling this role, this handbook presents the following information: Four strategies SEAs can use to create the conditions for maximizing ED formula grants for turnaround activities and an overview of how districts and schools can use Title I, Part A;3 Title II, Part A;4 and IDEA, Part B5 funds to support turnaround efforts.

Identifying, Selecting, and Retaining School Turnaround Leaders: How-To Modules

Readiness_ScreenshotA partnership of four education organizations studying issues surrounding school turnaround—The Center on School Turnaround at WestEd, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, Public Impact, and the University of Virginia Darden/Curry Partnership—have made available materials that can assist state and local education agencies in recruiting, selecting, developing, and retaining school turnaround leaders.


School Improvement Grants: Guidance and Tools for the 2015 Amended Regulations: Maximizing the Optional Planning/Pre-Implementation Year

Readiness_ScreenshotThe purpose of this guide is to provide states, districts, and schools with information and support to prepare applications for 2015–2016 School Improvement Grants (SIGs). The guide includes tools, checklists, and templates aligned with the revised SIG requirements, primarily focused on how LEAs could use the new “planning year” to build a foundation of success for SIG schools.

State Policy Brief Series

This series of briefs will highlight state policies, regulations, practices, laws, or other tools intended to create the necessary conditions for school and/or district turnaround. Each brief will include a tool overview, its development process, its impact, and lessons learned that could assist other education agencies interested in enacting something similar. Policies will be clearly turnaround-related (i.e. Mississippi’s takeover authority and the amendment that includes removal of board members), or a supporting policy (i.e., Illinois’ new regulations for principal certification).

Policy Perspective: School Turnaround in England – Utilizing the Private Sector

CenteronSchoolTurnaround_EnglandTurnaround_PolicyPerspectiveThis paper, written by strategic partner of the CST, Julie Corbett, provides research and examples on England’s approach to turning around its lowest performing schools. The English education system utilizes private vendors to support chronically low-performing schools and districts. The introduction is followed by discussions of each of the three main strategies for private sector involvement, including: school-based management, turning around individual schools and outsourcing the management of districts to private vendors. The paper concludes with lessons learned that could inform the implementation of similar efforts in the U.S.

District Readiness to Support School Turnaround

This guide, written by Daniel Player, Dallas Hambrick Hitt, and William Robinson from Center on School Turnaround partner, the University of Virginia’s Partnership for Leaders in Education, provides SEAs and districts (LEAs) with guidance about how to assess the district’s readiness to support school turnaround initiatives. Often, school turnaround efforts focus only on the school’s structure and leadership. Rarely do policymakers or practitioners think about school turnaround as a system-level issue requiring fundamental changes in district-level practice to establish the conditions for school turnaround to succeed.

The State Role in School Turnaround: Emerging Best Practices

The-State-Role-CoverThe Edited Volume will provide research and examples of practice on how state educational agencies (SEAs) manage school turnaround. Main chapters will include a literature review, framework, and action principles for the SEA. Brief chapters will focus on a turnaround-related topic, especially as it applies to a subset of schools or student populations. The Edited Volume is organized around the Center’s objectives, the SEA System of Recognition, Accountability, and Support change levers (Opportunity, Incentives, Capacity—Systemic, Capacity—Local), and ED’s turnaround principles.