by Jared Gellert
Edweek had a fascinating piece on the turnaround effort of the 17 lowest performing schools in the LA school district. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/08/21/01tuck.h33.html (-Marshall Tuck and Coleen Oliver)
The authors highlight 4 core strategies that they “believe are the foundation for any school turnaround.” These 4 strategies are: Leadership, Effective teaching, Targeted Student supports and Family and community engagement. To this effect, they pay their principals more than scale, put more time and money into teacher training and collaboration, do more personalized blended learning and give students more time in areas of need, and have a structured program for families to help their children achieve in school.
They have been at it since 2007. They’ve shown steady improvement on the usual metrics, but their results are still awful; only 29% of their students are deemed proficient in English , 26% in math, 29% in science and 26% in history and social science. One of their core messages is that there are no easy, magical fixes.
I’m curious what others think of this program. It seems well thought out and hits agreed upon areas of importance for improvement, but the results are horrible. (what were they before the effort started, if mid to high 20’s in proficiency is improvement?). What does their success or lack of success have to teach us?
Jared Gellert is the executive director of The Center for Integrated Training and Education .
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