The School Turnaround Group (STG) is a division of Mass Insight Education, a national nonprofit dedicated to closing the achievement gap by turning around our country’s lowest performing schools. The STG partners with school districts and state education agencies to redesign the way they support their lowest-performing schools.
Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of students – who are disproportionately minority and low-income – are trapped in persistently low-performing schools. While some schools are beating the odds, these represent isolated success stories. If we are to dramatically and systemically improve our nation’s failing schools, we must first fix the state and local systems, including structures, policies, and incentives, that are fundamentally broken. By 2012, the School Turnaround Group will work with states and districts to establish 6-10 “Partnership Zones” for school turnaround, characterized by flexible operating conditions and new capacity in the form of “Lead Partners.”
The Partnership Zone is a hybrid model, combining flexible, charter-like operating conditions, clustering of schools, and increased capacity and scalability of the traditional public school district system. A Partnership Zone is comprised of at least three high-need, low-performing schools. Districts, with the help of the STG, identify Lead Partners to oversee the turnaround process. Lead Partners are either independent non-profit organizations (e.g. an education management organization) or subunits of the district central office. Lead Partners sign contracts with either the district central office or the state to lead the turnaround efforts of a cluster of schools.