Center for Education Organizing: Profiles in School Transformation
On September 24, 2011, the Coalition for Educational Justice brought together parents, teachers, district administrators, and others for a conference to learn about successful alternatives to school closings. In a day-long series of workshops, educators from around the country presented data and stories about their work to improve student performance. The Center for Education Organizingat the Annenberg Institute for School Reform documented the strategies presented and developed brief profiles describing the basic approaches to culture and academic change at the schools represented at the conference.
This series of profiles is designed to provide community-based groups, educators, and other advocates with examples of alternatives to school closings to inform discussions in their own communities. The profiles summarize some of the key policy and implementation challenges that have been confronted and addressed by district superintendents, teachers, school leaders, and others working to transform struggling schools. Links are provided for further information on each.
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Public Schools Strategic Staffing Initiative
Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s “Strategic Staffing Initiative” is former Superintendent Peter Gorman’s effort to improve outcomes at low-performing schools in this 159-school district in North Carolina’s capital city.
- Generation Schools
Furman Brown co-founded Generation Brooklyn high school in 2007 as a radical experiment in redesigning the school day and year. Brown began from the premise that while teacher quality is paramount to student achievement, schools are not structured to support or develop high quality teaching practices.
- Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative/National Center for Time and Learning
The National Center for Time and Learning (NCTL) supports states, districts, and schools in “redesigning and expanding school time to improve opportunities and outcomes for high-poverty students.”
- Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools: “MNPS Achieves” and School-Based Instructional Leadership Initiative”
The Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools defines school improvement as a complex ongoing process grounded in a common vision and theory of action. Over the past three years, a transformation process has been led by Nashville Superintendent Jesse Register.
- Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools: Professional Growth System
Montgomery County, MD Public Schools (MCPS) and the Montgomery County Education Association have used their collaboration on teacher professional growth to leverage National Board Certification as a district-wide improvement strategy.
- Strategic Learning Initiatives: Reform within Chicago Public Schools
Strategic Learning Initiatives (SLI) is an external organization that specializes in school transformation. SLI has worked in a network of Chicago schools for over 5 years and has shown significant success.
- Turnaround for Children
Turnaround for Children works with high-poverty, low-performing schools to address students’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs. Turnaround for Children was founded in 2002 in New York City after a study of the impact of September 11th on public schools found that the number of students needing mental health supports was far beyond the schools’ capacity to address.