Internal Turnarounds Out in Chicago?

Will Chicago’s successful Office of School Improvement continue to manage some schools, or will everything be outsourced to groups like AUSL? Mixed signals from the Windy City. WBEZ has more. HT to Alexander Russo.

We’ve always like the inside-outside parallel strategy as long as the inside Lead Partner units are distinct teams, ideally physically located in the high school-feeder cluster of schools…and importantly meeting the same four criteria that an “outside” partner must.  These are:

  • Sign 3-5-year performance contracts, which hold them accountable for rapid gains in student achievement across several schools.
  • Have control over the schools’ staffing, time, budgets, and programs.
  • Are able to manage and coordinate the work of all district departments or outside organizations that have been brought in to help the schools improve. They’re the general contractor, managing multiple subs. No more forcing already overwhelmed principals to deal with multiple, overlapping “improvement” programs.
  • Are embedded onsite in the group of schools to support principals. No more part-time consulting from afar. And less bureaucratic interference from the central office.