Tools for Turnaround

School Turnaround Tools

Our research and design work on turnaround implementation led to the development of an array of tools, resources, and more specific strategies to help policymakers, reformers, and practitioners improve the development of their own turnaround designs. These tools align with the School Turnaround Group’s emphasis on the capacity and conditions that allow for successful turnaround. The format and purposes of these tools vary, ranging from narrative examples to tools outlining the nuts and bolts of a specific strategy or policy issue.

Capacity: Partners

Human capital is a critical input for school turnaround. Having people committed to the work and providing ongoing support for these individuals is critical at all levels – in the classroom, with external partners, and with districts and SEAs. Publications in this section explore the role of the Lead Partner.

Capacity: Organization

School turnaround is relatively new school improvement strategy; therefore, it requires new organizational structures. Publications in this section introduce new organizational configurations, both for aligning staff and distributing work in a way that supports turnaround.

Capacity: Systems and Processes

The systems and processes used to identify, attract, retain, and support quality staff members and leaders are critical to building capacity. Capacity not only refers to people, it also implies the mechanisms used to develop and maintain high-capacity organizations. Publications in this section explore the systems and processes that build capacity.


Turnaround requires an environment that is conducive to dramatic school improvement. These conditions include: increased autonomy and flexibility, additional resources and funding, streamlined compliance, and an emphasis on quality curricula, instruction, assessment, and data. Publications in this section elaborate on the necessary conditions for turnaround.