Low Performing Schools

A group of silhouettes looks across a grid with a public school on the other side.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
Federal Low-Performing Schools Are Left to Languish by Districts and States, Watchdog Finds
Fewer than half of district plans for improving struggling schools meet bare minimum requirements.
Alyson Klein, February 23, 2024
11 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
School & District Management Letter to the Editor Ditch the Term 'Failing Schools'
The term sullied the otherwise affirmative nature of the opinion collection, says this letter to the editor.
June 13, 2023
1 min read
Illustration of path.
F. Sheehan for Education Week / Getty
School & District Management Opinion Five Pathways for Improving Student Opportunities
Education advocates and policymakers show how an opportunity approach is changing the face of education in their states.
April 26, 2023
8 min read
Andrew Houlihan is the superintendent in Union County and developed a high-dosage tutoring strategy to combat student learning loss. Pictured here on Dec. 16, 2021.
Andrew Houlihan, the superintendent of the Union County schools in North Carolina, led the development of a high-dosage tutoring strategy to combat student learning loss.
Alex Boerner for Education Week
School & District Management Q&A How a Successful Superintendent Takes Stock Mid-Year
The halfway point in the school year is a good time to reassess goals, measure progress, and reflect.
Alyson Klein, February 21, 2023
3 min read
Covid Fiscal Rochester
Lincoln Agnew for Education Week
Budget & Finance How COVID-19 Will Make Fixing America's Worst-Performing Schools Even Harder
COVID-19's fallout has shaken how states spend billions in federal aid to fix poor-performing schools serving the most-vulnerable students.
Daarel Burnette II, March 23, 2021
12 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Calculating Grad Rates for Charter Schools: It's Complicated
Federal data paint a grim picture of the charter school sector's ability to graduate its students. But comparing charter high schools' graduating power with that of all other public high schools is tricky.
Arianna Prothero & Alex Harwin, February 26, 2019
3 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Are Charter Management Companies a Laboratory for Effective School Systems?
Marc Tucker argues that there is no evidence that charter systems at scale raise student performance to global levels, and advises policymakers to instead, focus on learning from nations and states whose students are outperforming U.S. students across the board.
Marc Tucker, May 23, 2018
5 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act States Adjust Course on School Turnaround Districts
The new school year brings changes for states that are starting—or, in at least one case, dropping—state-directed efforts to improve some of their lowest-performing schools.
Daarel Burnette II, September 5, 2017
6 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act Here's How 17 States Plan to Fix Struggling Schools
What are the most common strategies states want to take for school improvement? Are states seeking radical new approaches under ESSA? We take a look.
Andrew Ujifusa & Alyson Klein, June 14, 2017
20 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion Theresa May and the Design of the American Education System
Marc Tucker discusses a recent piece by Checker Finn on British Prime Minister Theresa May's education agenda and analyzes the lessons it may provide for U.S. policy makers.
Marc Tucker, January 5, 2017
7 min read
A Massachusetts ballot measure that would have allowed more charter schools to open was defeated, despite an expensive campaign to win voter approval.
A Massachusetts ballot measure that would have allowed more charter schools to open was defeated, despite an expensive campaign to win voter approval.
Michael Dwyer/AP
Federal In Massachusetts, Voters Shun Expansion of Charters
The state will keep its status as one of the most restrictive states when it comes to the expansion of the charter school sector.
Arianna Prothero, November 15, 2016
3 min read
School & District Management Georgia Voters to Decide State's Role in Struggling Schools
A ballot measure would alter the state constitution to allow a special district to intervene in low-performing schools.
Denisa R. Superville, October 25, 2016
6 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act ESSA Clears Out Underbrush on School Improvement Path
The new federal K-12 law gives states and districts a freer hand in fixing their lowest-performing schools, but questions loom on whether that leeway will translate into better outcomes.
Alyson Klein, September 27, 2016
8 min read
School & District Management Amid School-Closure Worries, Michigan Lists Low Performers
State officials insist the roster of low-performing schools is not a closure list, but an accountability measure required by law, though those reassurances may face skepticism.
Brenda Iasevoli, September 6, 2016
4 min read