Inside School Turnarounds uses on-the-ground reporting and up-to-the-minute research to provide a compelling and insightful exploration of the work of school turnarounds.
The quest for school improvement is old. The demand for dramatic, immediate school improvement is new. Even as President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan commit $4.3 billion to making 5,000 of the nation’s worst-performing schools better now, few people know what that really looks like—or how it actually works. How do school and district leaders enact rapid and meaningful reform that truly transforms the lives and learning of their students?
Veteran education journalist Laura Pappano gathers stories, ideas, emerging practices, and honest admissions about what has worked and what hasn’t for schools and districts caught in midstream as they navigate this uncertain journey. In the voices of administrators, teachers, children, and parents, Pappano’s book captures the joys and frustrations, passions and challenges of those responding to the unprecedented demands being placed on—and embraced by—turnaround schools.
Inside School Turnarounds is part of the Harvard Education Letter Impact series.
In this well-researched, well-written, timely new book, Pappano takes us from the theory of education reform to the practical examples and inspiring, dedicated people on the front lines of making troubled schools work. With detailed case studies and thoughtful analysis, Inside School Turnarounds makes clear what is working and what more needs to be done. This is a must-read for policy makers, education reformers, and anyone committed to the goal of providing all of America’s children with the high quality public education they need and deserve. — Alan Khazei, cofounder, City Year and author, Big Citizenship
This courageous book reveals what’s really happening in school reform today. It breaks the story of how some dedicated educators are forging bits of success, one student at a time, under incredibly daunting conditions. The author’s clear-headed account touches on all the hot buttons in education, from teacher unions to high-stakes testing, without getting snagged on the usual ideological hooks that have stalled our progress. — William Damon, professor of education and director, Center on Adolescence at Stanford University
Once again, Pappano has captured and humanized many of the challenges associated with urban public education. Inside School Turnarounds highlights some of today’s most effective practices in urban education and considers their applicability in the turnaround context. This is the beginning of a very important story. — Evan Rudall, CEO, Uncommon Schools
In this timely and important book, Pappano skillfully captures the complexity of the school-turnaround challenge. Inside School Turnarounds makes it clear that there is no silver bullet, no easy answer, but that there are a set of lessons and promising practices that we should be careful not to ignore. — Jesse Solomon, director, Boston Teacher Residency