Turnaround High School Ratchets Up Improvement
Challenge Is Maintaining Momentum in Long Term
The test scores aren’t in yet, but by almost every other measure that matters—school climate, instructional strategies, staff satisfaction—the former Shawnee High School isn’t the same place it was just a year ago.
More than half the teachers are new to the persistently low-performing school. Those who remain say they no longer feel that their own classes are the only ones that push students. The school has stepped up its focus on using data to pinpoint students’ weak points and to adjust instruction. It even has a new name: the Academy @ Shawnee.
The three turnaround specialists sent in by the Kentucky Department of Education to oversee Shawnee’s transformation—part of a nationwide, federally financed school turnaround effort—are confident the school will meet the goal set by the state: raise test scores by 10 percentage...
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