More than a third of districts reported that they had no familiarity with the models that are part of the $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement Grants headed to school systems this fall in an effort by the Obama administration to turn around the bottom 5 percent of America’s schools. Fewer than 12 percent reported that they had implemented one of the models in their schools, according to the survey, released late last month.
The four federal models are: transformation, in which the principal is often replaced and interventions are added; turnaround, in which at least half the staff is replaced; restart, which converts a school to a charter and also leads to dramatic turnover in teaching personnel; and closure.
Eleven percent of districts surveyed had implemented the turnaround model, widely considered to be the least disruptive. Six percent had implemented the transformation model, and 1 percent had implemented either the restart or the closure models.
A version of this article appeared in the September 15, 2010 edition of Education Week as Districts Found to Know Little on Turnarounds