School turnaround is hard—arguably one of the hardest things to do in education. Just last year, states identified 5,664 schools across the nation as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools—meaning that thousands of students attended schools that performed in the bottom 5% of their state’s accountability framework and/or had a graduation rate below 67%.
States, parents, educators, principals and communities across the nation are working tirelessly to support students within these schools, but they need state-level guidance and support to enact significant, lasting change.
ExcelinEd’s newest brief, School Accountability: Four State Policy Levers for School Turnaround, can help states identify which elements of their school turnaround supports are—and aren’t—working.
This brief identifies recommendations that can be implemented across the four main state-level policy levers for supporting school turnaround. It also examines how three states—Wisconsin, Louisiana and New Mexico—are implementing the recommendations.
Policy Recommendations & Levers to Support School Turnaround
The brief presents three recommendations that provide a framework to think about how to strengthen the main state-level policy levers to support school turnaround.
- Integration: Ensure school turnaround funds and initiatives are integrated in existing structures and across workstreams.
- Coherence: Guarantee there is coherence to select priorities in funding and support.
- Guardrails: Implement guardrails on statewide systems and more rigorous turnaround initiatives.
State education agencies also have four main policy levers to support school turnaround. They must consider each lever and how it works in tandem with the others to create a comprehensive approach. Pulling too firmly on one, without strengthening the others can result in an incomplete support structure.
Check out the brief to learn more and to explore detailed examples of how states are using these policy levers. For questions about school turnaround policies in your state, please contact Adriana@ExcelinEd.org.
Read the Brief
About the author
Adriana Harrington @AdrianaHarrin17
Adriana Harrington is the Director of Innovation Policy. Prior to joining ExcelinEd Adriana worked at the Tennessee Department of Education, most recently serving as the Director of Project Management for the Division of Consolidated Planning and Monitoring and the Division of School Improvement. In this role, Adriana lead the department’s statewide school improvement initiatives to increase student outcomes in schools performing in the bottom five percent. She previously served as the Program Manager, Student Readiness for the Division of College, Career and Technical Education. Adriana was also a high school social studies teacher in Memphis for several years and a Teach for America Corps Member. Adriana earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Public Policy from Duke University.