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Accountability--Sanctions/InterventionsSelected Research & Readings (Additional Resources)
What States Are Doing
Selected Research & Readings
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Accountability--School Improvement
Governance--Local/Mayoral Takeovers
No Child Left Behind--Consequences for Schools

School Restructuring Via the No Child Left Behind Act: Potential State Roles PDF - This ECS Issue Brief describes alternative roles available to the states in implementing NCLB's restructuring requirements. In addition to discussing why states should play a role in implementing NCLB's restructuring requirements, the brief discusses three potential roles that states may take in restructuring – mildly-, moderately- or highly-active – depending on local considerations. (Todd Ziebarth and Bryan Hassel, Education Commission of the States, November 2005)...

Restructuring Schools in Chester Upland, Pennsylvania: An Analysis of State Restructuring Efforts - According to this report, by all accounts, school restructuring in Chester Upland School District is an example of how not to restructure. When a state intervenes to restructure schools, it must also dictate the particulars and thereafter monitor implementation. In Pennsylvania, the state pressed for privatization but did not follow through to ensure the privatization model negotiated was tenable. Nevertheless, almost in spite of everything that has occurred in the district, nearly all the schools have demonstrated some academic gains. While these gains have been limited, they are nonetheless encouraging. Available online are the case study and policy brief. (Lauren Morando Rhim, Education Commission of the States, January 2005) ...

Closing Low-Performing Schools and Reopening Them as Charter Schools: The Role of the State MS Word PDF - This paper suggests that states consider incorporating into their broader restructuring efforts an option that allows policymakers and administrators – selectively and wisely – to close down chronically low-performing schools and reopen them as charter schools. It explores the challenges and potential benefits of this option, as well as the roles that states can play in its implementation. (Todd Ziebarth, Education Commission of the States, September 2004)...

Restructuring Schools in Baltimore: An Analysis of State and District Efforts - According to this report, the state and district restructuring initiatives in Baltimore have produced mixed results in terms of gains in student academic performance. Nevertheless, these initiatives provide practical lessons regarding the process of restructuring. For example, reinforcing decades of research on effective schools, the key policy leaders involved with restructuring in Baltimore identified principals and teachers as the essential forces driving successful schools. This study also found that the supporting conditions that are critical to enabling strong principals and teachers to succeed include school autonomy over budgets, personnel, and curriculum and instruction. Available online are the case study and policy brief. (Lauren Morando Rhim, Education Commission of the States, July 2004)...

Stimulating the Supply of New Choices for Families in Light of NCLB: The Role of the State MS Word PDF - Under No Child Left Behind, districts cannot use capacity problems as an excuse for not providing seats for students who wish to transfer. For these districts, and the states that oversee their progress, it is vitally important to look at stimulating the supply of new choices so that interested families can exercise their rights to transfer. This policy brief sketches out the roles that states can play in the process. (Bryan C. Hassel and Lucy Steiner, ECS, September 2004)...

Reporting, Rewarding and Sanctioning Schools and Districts MS Word - Around the country, the push for higher standards has led to an increase in the importance of accountability for schools, districts and even states. Policymakers are using a variety of means to measure performance and respond appropriately. (Article from the Fall 2000 ECS State Education Leader)...

Can Failing Schools Be Fixed? - This report examines three interventions into failing schools: the Schools Under Registration Review process in New York, comprehensive school reform in Memphis, Tennessee, and school reconstitution in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The author writes that in each of these cases roughly half or fewer of the schools that were subject to the intervention showed real improvement when gauged in terms of student achievement. The author tells policymakers not to be overwhelmed by the number of intervention strategies available and to be patient, as it may be several years before even a successful intervention shows results. (Ronald C. Brady, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, January 2003)...

The Limits of Sanctions in Low-Performing Schools: A Study of Maryland and Kentucky Schools on Probation - This article reports on a study of 11 schools that were labeled as low-performing by the state accountability systems of Maryland and Kentucky. The study investigated the effect of probation on individual performance motivation, organizational processes and patterns of instruction. Putting schools on probation only weakly motivated teachers because of perceptions that the tests were unfair, invalid and unrealistic, according to the author. (Heinrich Mintrop, Education Policy Analysis Archives, January 2003)...

Turning Around Low-Performing Schools: A Guide for State and Local Leaders - This guide focuses on promising strategies for improving student achievement and building school capacity, as well as the traditional subjects of identifying and intervening in low-performing schools. (U.S. Department of Education, May 1998)...

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