How Shanghai’s Empowered-Management Program Improves Student Achievement

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Public-school students in the world’s largest city, Shanghai, China, are academically outperforming their counterparts across the globe and becoming the talk and envy of education experts worldwide. Using an innovative partnering approach that matches successful schools with low-performing schools, Shanghai has valuable lessons to teach on turning around public-school systems—lessons that transcend several of the unique characteristics of the Chinese educational system, as well as the country’s rich pedagogical traditions.

In development for more than a decade, Shanghai’s empowered-management program aims to improve student achievement in all of its schools by contracting high-performing schools to turn around the academic outcomes of low-performing schools. Chinese officials regard the program as highly successful and have extended its reach across school districts and to other parts of China.

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