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.