Evaluation Toolkit

Schools, districts, and states across the country are launching dramatic, new strategies to turn around our nation's lowest-performing schools. With this comes a responsibility, at all levels, to evaluate both the implementation and outcomes of these efforts. The evaluation of school turnaround cannot be limited to a summative process. Because turnaround efforts are fast-paced and challenging, evaluation must be done on an ongoing basis to ensure that efforts stay on track and that practitioners can apply mid-course corrections, if necessary.

Furthermore, given that turnaround is a developing field with only early strategies for success, there is a need to collect data that tests the efficacy of various models and codifies promising practices for reform.

This toolkit provides local and state officials with a framework and process to conduct evaluations. We will add resources to this toolkit over time to continually respond to the needs of the field.

The toolkit currently includes (NOTE: click on the titles to download the PDF reports):

  • Evaluating School Turnaround. This main publication provides a framework for evaluation in the context of turnaround and differentiates between leading and lagging indicators of improvement. It outlines a process for setting school goals, collecting aligned data, and using data to inform decision-making.

  • Metrics for Turnaround. This tool lists critical variables or metrics to track as part of a robust evaluation system. These metrics fall within 6 categories: (1) demographic data, (2) the school environment, (3) student achievement, (4) community perceptions, (5) instructional data, and (6) school facilities and resources.

  • Data from the Field. This resource compiles data from successful turnaround schools across the country. The data suggest what is achievable in years 1, 2, etc. under a turnaround model and can inform benchmarks in other states, districts, and schools.

  • Evaluation Primer. This document provides additional background information about the general practice of evaluation as related to school improvement.