The inspiration for this book was a crucial observation: that if the school turnaround movement is to have widespread and lasting consequences, it will need to incorporate meaningful district involvement in its efforts.
The result is a volume that considers school turnaround efforts at the district level, examining the evidence thus far and indicating fruitful directions for district-based initiatives going forward. At the heart of the book are case studies of districts—in Philadelphia, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Denver, Sacramento, and Long Beach—that have developed systemwide policies and programs for instituting turnaround reforms in their member schools. These cases—and the book as a whole—bring district-based initiatives and options into the larger discussion of the turnaround movement and its potential for improving chronically low-performing schools.
Reform through school turnaround is a controversial and complex topic. Heather Zavadsky addresses an often overlooked but critical component of the process: the district’s role in supporting school change. Her case studies allow readers to evaluate concrete strategies and examples to determine possible uses in their own reform efforts. This book is a great tool for campus and district leaders. — Wanda Bamberg, superintendent of schools, Aldine (Texas) Independent School District
This is an essential book on school turnarounds and the important role that school districts must play in supporting them. It is refreshing to have not only examples of what can be done to improve ineffective schools but also detailed examples of how to implement those reforms. — Thomas W. Payzant, professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education
School Turnarounds provides practical, proven strategies for effective, sustainable reforms. The book is a how-to guide for the use of data, communication, and collaboration to manage change that affects classroom instruction directly. A must-read for every reform-minded administrator and school board member responsible for schools public or private. — Edwin Flores, trustee, Dallas Independent School District