What makes a successful school turnaround: the story of three schools

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Patrice Jones Faison (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Ulrich Reitzug

Abstract: This study examined three schools, led by five principals that were undergoing rapid school improvement under the current federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. The program poured billions of dollars into school improvement and required that increased achievement would occur within 2 to 3 years. There are a number of ways states can choose to utilize this money to improve their low performing schools. The state of North Carolina, the home for this particular study, decided to work with the lowest five percent of schools. Schools were required to select and implement one of the four different U.S. Department of Education (DOE) developed models: turnaround, transformation, closure, or restart. Two schools in this study utilized the turnaround model and the other used transformation. The schools were studied to examine the leadership and strategies used to reform the school. The participants in this study consisted of principals, assistant principals, teachers, counselors, and curriculum coaches. Participants were interviewed and observed interacting with students and colleagues, and school documents were collected. One of the schools in this study is a school where I once was the principal, and I collected data on my own experiences using autoethnographic methods. Data were analyzed and triangulated to determine key school improvement components and themes. Key components included: leadership, data used for accountability and to inform instruction, professional development, and parent and community involvement. Under each component there are several themes. The experiences of the principals are woven into the story of one fictitious principal who leads Grant Elementary (a pseudonym).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Leadership, Principals, Reform, School Improvement Grant, Turnaround
Elementary school principals $z North Carolina $v Case studies
Educational leadership $z North Carolina $v Case studies
Educational change $z North Carolina $v Case studies
School improvement programs $z North Carolina $v Case studies
Federal aid to education $z North Carolina $v Case studies

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