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Accountability--School Improvement


The Progress of Education Reform: School Improvement--What Works in Improving Low-Performing Schools and Districts? PDF - This issue highlights recent research that explores what works in improving low-performing schools and districts, examines what is being learned from research and looks at the subsequent implications for state policy. (Kathy Christie, Education Commission of the States, November 2007)...

The State Role in Accelerating Student Growth in Low-Performing High Schools MS Word PDF - The goal of state intervention in a school or district designated as low-performing is not to punish. It is to help figure out how to improve student learning. The challenge, particularly for a chief state school officer or state board of education, is how best to leverage assistance to schools that have varying degrees of need. This ECS Policy Brief examines what has been learned from research and looks at the subsequent implications for state policy. It also makes suggestions for specific actions and provides examples of approaches that states have taken to amend governance and organizational structures, improve instructional conditions and increase instructional capacity. (Kathy Christie, Education Commission of the States, June 2007)...

School Improvement: What works in improving low-performing schools/districts? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

Are Low-Performing Schools Adopting Practices Promoted by School Improvement Grants? - Schools under the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program on average reported adopting 20 of 32 improvement practices promoted by the SIG turnaround models. No school adopted all the practices, but more than 96 percent adopted the three most commonly adopted practices: using data to inform and differentiate instruction, increasing technology access for teachers or using computer-assisted instruction and providing ongoing professional development that involves teachers working collaboratively or is facilitated by school leaders. (National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, October 2014)...

School Improvement Grants: Analyses of State Applications and Eligible and Awarded Schools - Since passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, two cohorts have received School Improvement Grants (SIG), implementing them in 2010 and 2011. This Ed. Dept. analysis of the two groups found most applications in Cohort II were new lists and most planned refinements of practices used the year before by Cohort I. Both cohorts tended to favor the transformation model; they tended to be high-poverty, high-minority, and urban. However, Cohort II was smaller, featured a higher percentage of elementary schools, a higher percentage of Hispanic students and a lower percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch. (National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, October 2012)...

Opportunities and Obstacles: Implementing Stimulus-Funded School Improvement Grants in Maryland, Michigan, and Idaho - This report examines the implementation of the federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) program by drawing on research conducted in three states, seven school districts, and 11 schools -- including schools that were eligible for but did not receive a SIG award. The study looks at how the federal program requirements are working within the state and local context, the progress made during the first year of the three-year grant implementation, and the different approaches being used to improve student achievement in schools that received SIG funds compared to schools that were eligible for but did not receive grants. (Center on Education Policy, March, 2012)...

State Implementation and Perceptions of Title I School Improvement Grants under the Recovery Act: One Year Later - Based on a winter 2011-12 survey of state directors of the federal Title I program, this report examines the first year of state implementation of the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. It focuses on state processes for renewing the SIG awards made for school year 2010-11, state assistance to schools, and general perceptions of the ARRA SIG program requirements. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia participated in the survey. (Center on Education Policy, March, 2012)...

"We Should Have Been Bolder..." - This is the second in a series of regular issue briefs exploring various aspects, challenges, and lessons learned from efforts to help struggling schools improve student achievement. (Mass Insight Education's School Turnaround Group, March 2012)...

Turnaround Brief: Successful Principals Speak Out - This brief provides feedback from a network of leading principals on what they need from their school districts to successfully turnaround low-performing schools. The network of principals is being developed by STG to exchange best practices, overcome obstacles, and bridge the gap between turnaround practitioners and policymakers. (Mass Insight Educationís School Turnaround Group, March 2012)...

New Orleans-Style Education Reform: A Guide for Cities: Lessons Learned, 2004-2010 - This report shares the insights and lessons learned in developing a choice-based, predominantly charter system in New Orleans. The report can aid districts struggling to remedy widespread school system failure by providing tools and resources to guide their initial thinking, early work, and longer-term planning. (New Schools for New Orleans, January 2012)...

State Capacity for School Improvement: A First Look at Agency Resources - Researchers examined eight state education agencies to determine how they could respond to federal pressures for states to play a larger role in school turnarounds. The authors found federal strictures dictate how monies are used for state education agency staffing for certain programs. With some flexibility the agencies could provide some additional support for typically underfunded school improvement initiatives. (Center on Reinventing Public Education, August 2011)...

School Improvement Grants: Early Implementation Under Way, but Reforms Affected by Short Time Frames - GAO was asked to provide information on (1) how states administered the SIG programs for grants in 2010-11;(2) what factors influenced the implementation of SIG interventions on selected schools in 2010-2011; and (3) how the U.S. Department of Education provided oversight of SIG implementation and measured performance to date. GAO recommends SIG grants be awarded to districts earlier to give more time to successfully plan and implement the SIG reforms. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, July 2011)...

Leading Indicators of School Turnarounds: How to Know When Dramatic Change Is On Track - This report summarizes the research and experience from settings in which leaders have long relied on leading indicators to enhance the likelihood of success. Key principles and processes are identified to guide the design and use of leading indicators in education. A starting list of leading indicators and a proposed monitoring timetable for district, state, and other education leaders to use in turnaround schools are also provided. (Public Impact, 2011)...

Using Competencies to Improve School Turnaround Principal Success - This report provides guidance for organizations on how to use competencies to select, evaluate, and develop effective school turnaround leaders. (Public Impact, 2011)...

State Strategies for Fixing Failing Schools and Districts - n 2009, the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices awarded competitive grants to four states to participate in the State Strategies to Improve Chronically Low-Performing Schools project. The project provided Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts and Mississippi with grant funds and consulting services to develop policies and plans creating the conditions to turn around chronically low-performing schools and districts. The project yielded valuable lessons and suggested strategies that states and territories can use to fix failing schools and districts. (NGA Center for Best Practices, March 2011)...

Metrics for School Turnaround: A Comprehensive Set of Metrics to Measure School Turnaround Efforts - This PowerPoint presentation is a supplement to the main report, Evaluating School Turnaround. Mass Insight focuses their work on a number of core activities, including the development of cutting edge, research-based toolkits, communication of both their principals and strategies to key stakeholders, and support for states and districts in designing and implementing dramatic reform strategies. (Mass Insight Education, September 2010)...

The District Turnaround Office: A Comprehensive Support Structure for Struggling Students - An extension of Mass Insight's research on partnership zones, the findings in this presentation focus on the creation of a District Turnaround Office as a new internal unit within a local education agency. The district turnaround office is a centralized entity that has both the capacity and authority to manage and coordinate all turnaround efforts within an local education agency. When fully realized, the model will lead to a single office with a clear mandate for providing underperforming schools with everything they need to improve student achievement. (School Turnaround Group, August 2010)...

Tiered Interventions in High Schools: Using Preliminary 'Lessons Learned' to Guide Ongoing Discussion - This document provides brief snapshots of how eight schools across the country implemented tiered interventions, including the essential components of response to intervention (RTI). Each of the schools viewed its implementation as a work in progress. Through visits with the schools and conversations with experts, it became clear that implementing tiered interventions at the high school level involves more than the "cutting and pasting" of the essential components of RTI from elementary to high schools. (American Institutes for Research, May 2010)...

Stuck Schools: A Framework for Identifying Schools Where Students Need Change--Now! - This report shows that schools often lumped together as "low performing" are not all alike. Data from reading and mathematics assessments for elementary and middle schools in 10 states show some low-performing schools remain "stuck" year after year. Yet others that started as low performers are among the fastest improvers in their states. Amid conflicting claims about school turnarounds and growing federal investment in struggling schools, this report sheds light on gains, or their absence, in low-performing schools. (Natasha Ushomirsky and Daria Hall, The Education Trust, February 2010)...


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