Recent years have seen unprecedented federal resources directed through School Improvement Grants to fix the nation’s least-successful schools. But school districts mediate the intervention and the extent to which they apply coherent strategies to support struggling schools may moderate its success. Coherent, outcome-oriented work is not easy for most organizations and it is especially challenging for school districts accustomed to input-based, compliance-oriented management. Accountability for improving student achievement, however, has changed the incentives.
Many districts have sought outside experts to help them begin working strategically. For more than 10 years, Education Resource Strategies, Inc., or ERS, has engaged with urban districts toward this end. This experience has led ERS to believe that turning around the least-successful schools requires nothing short of a comprehensive overhaul of the way districts use money, people, and time to support all schools, not just the struggling ones. Strategic overhaul is a tall order but it is all the more important because a strategic overhaul of resource allocation also serves to promote greater equity.
Please join the Center for American Progress for the release of “Turning Around the Nation’s Lowest-Performing Schools: Five Steps Districts Can Take to Improve Their Chances of Success.”
Karen Baroody, Managing Director, Education Resource Strategies, Inc.
James McIntyre, Jr., Superintendent, Knox County Schools, Tennessee
Jason Willis, Chief Financial Officer, Stockton Unified School District, California
Raegen Miller, Associate Director for Education Policy, Center for American Progress