School & District Management

Feds Highlight ‘Model’ Turnaround Efforts in Online Videos

April 19, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For states and school districts looking for some “how to” advice on turning around those schools where student achievement just won’t budge, the folks at the Education Department have put together a line-up of short videos that feature stories of schools that have had some success climbing from the bottom of the academic barrel.

Let’s just say these short blurbs are more inspirational than they are instructive. You’d need a feature-length video to really begin to explain how these schools get overhauled.

Two of the featured schools are in Chicago—so they have the imprint of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who was Chicago’s schools CEO before coming to Washington. These schools were “turned around” by the Academy of Urban School Leadership, one of the darlings of the education reform world.

The third featured school is Locke High School in south Los Angeles, where the charter organization Green Dot Public Schools took over the campus in 2008 after a pitched battle with United Teachers Los Angeles. (Green Dot’s teachers are unionized, but are not affiliated with UTLA.) Green Dot is just finishing up its second year in the Watts high school; second-year test scores won’t be released until this summer.

Of course, these three examples have been cited by Sec. Duncan over and over as evidence that “dramatically” changing the culture and achievement levels at chronically failing schools is possible. And the federal government is throwing unprecedented resources at states and districts to take on such monumental work.

The Ed. Dept. sent out a release late last week promising more videos from other schools across the country. I think we’d all benefit from hearing about more typical examples of school turnaround. You know, the kind where a school district—without an outside partner like AUSL, or an aggressive charter management organization, like Green Dot—has, or is doing, the work itself. We’ll keep you posted if more of those videos appear at

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Centering the Whole Child in School Improvement Planning and Redesign
Learn how leading with equity and empathy yield improved sense of belonging, attendance, and promotion rate to 10th grade.

Content provided by Panorama
Teaching Profession Webinar Examining the Evidence: Supports to Promote Teacher Well-Being
Rates of work dissatisfaction are on the rise among teachers. Grappling with an increased workload due to the pandemic and additional stressors have exacerbated feelings of burnout and demoralization. Given these challenges, what can the

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management New Survey: How the Pandemic Has Made School Leadership More Stressful
Secondary school principals have reported frequent job-related stress, especially concerns about staff and student well-being.
6 min read
Illustration of figure at the center of many incoming arrows
nerosu/iStock/Getty Images
School & District Management From Principals, a Primer on Delivering Bad News
COVID and the upheavals of the last two years have raised the ante on often-emotional conversations with staff and parents.
9 min read
Conceptual image of balanced weighing the pros and cons.
Cagkan Sayin/iStock
School & District Management Opinion If You Can’t Maintain an Initiative, Maybe You Shouldn’t Do It
Schools are often really good at finding new initiatives to implement but aren't always good at maintaining. Here's a model to consider.
5 min read
Screen Shot 2022 01 21 at 7.57.56 AM
School & District Management Schools Are Desperate for Substitutes and Getting Creative
Now in the substitute-teacher pool: parents, college students, and the National Guard.
10 min read
Zackery Kimball, a substitute teacher at Bailey Middle School, works with two classes of students at the school's theater hall on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. Many schools have vacant teaching and/or support staff jobs and no available substitutes to cover day-to-day absences.
Zackery Kimball, a substitute teacher at Bailey Middle School in Las Vegas, works with two classes of students at the school's theater hall on a Friday in December 2021.
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP