Beyond the School: Exploring a Systemic Approach to School Turnaround

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Beyond the School: Exploring a Systemic Approach to School Turnaround
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February, 2011

Recent attention to school turnaround often situates the causes for (and solutions to) persistent low performance at the school level. This policy and practice brief draws on the experience of eight California school districts to suggest a more systemic approach to school improvement. By looking at common approaches across all eight districts and by sharing three districts stories more in-depth, the brief demonstrates the ways that districts can leverage their capacity and resources to more effectively achieve growth in struggling schools. Based on this work, the brief concludes with a set of considerations for how the federal government can promote a more systemic and customized approach to intervention in our lowest-performing schools through the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).