Turning Around Low-Performing Schools: The Case of the Washington, DC Schools. Publication Series.Report as inadecuate

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This paper describes one successful approach to restoring failing urban schools. The project involved six low-performing District of Columbia elementary schools. Its goal was to turn the schools around by implementing the Community for Learning comprehensive school reform model. It involved collaboration between the school district, school staff, and Temple University's Laboratory for Student Success. Staff and student turnover was significant during the project, which challenged implementation and required intensive implementation training and professional development support. Findings on program implementation and outcomes for the first 2 years indicated a positive pattern toward program outcomes, including changes in teacher and student classroom behavior, degree of program implementation, and student achievement. The two most salient ingredients to success were: focusing on each student's learning needs and tailoring the instructional program to address them and emphasizing the strengths of the school and the community instead of highlighting solely on what was wrong. The effort did not present a different curriculum, throw out everything old in favor of the new, or hire significant numbers of new staff. It used the schools' resources, preserving what worked and supplementing with improved practices. It built in elements that reinforced teachers' competence, which helped sustain change. (SM)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Low Achievement, Program Effectiveness, Public Schools, Urban Schools

For full text: http://www.temple.edu/LSS/pubseries2000-3.pdf.

Author: Wang, Margaret C.; Manning, JoAnn

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9821&id=ED462482

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