School Turnaround

School turn­around’s aim is to improve student out­comes by changing how schools and class­rooms operate. School turnaround involves quick, dramatic im­provement by removing factors that inhibit school growth and fail to support effective teaching and learn­ing. Turnaround schools are, by defi­nition, schools that have demonstrated that they have dramatically improved student outcomes in a short time.
State and national policy dialogue has increasingly highlighted school turnaround as a top education priority, yet often narrowly locates the causes—and thus the solutions—for persistent low performance at the school level. The Collaborative has actively wrestled with the challenges of school turnaround, and advocated for a more systemic approach that acknowledges and leverages the district role in school improvement.


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... Read more »


March 23 - 24, 2010
Meeting 12 March 23-24,2010 Sacramento, CA Meeting Summary (PDF 182 KB) Logistics Briefing Book Cover Letter (PDF 92.6 KB) NCLB, Overview & Implementation ESEA Reauthorization Accountability in ESEA... Read more »
December 17 - 18, 2009
Meeting 11 December 17-18, 2009 Menlo Park, California Meeting Summary (PDF 161 KB) Logistics Briefing Book Cover Letter (PDF 120 KB) Research on Turnaround Schools District Strategies Ensuring Teacher Quality Ensuring... Read more »


December 2011
December 2011 Two December events, a presentation at the California Educational Research Association (CERA) conference and a webinar hosted by SchoolsMovingUp, highlighted the Collaborative’s work regarding school turnaround. Joel Knudson... Read more »

Member Spotlight

November 2013
A new book by Collaborative member Joan Talbert, senior research scholar emerita at Stanford University, and Jane David, director of the Bay Area Research Group, tells the dramatic improvement story of Sanger Unified School District. Turning Around... Read more »
September 2012
Joseph Johnson, Executive Director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) at San Diego State University, led a recent SchoolsMovingUp webinar entitled High Quality Instruction that Promotes Learning and Achievement for... Read more »