Between 2002 and 2016, the federal government, state governments, and school districts undertook unprecedented measures to improve the lowest-performing schools. This book draws on dozens of actual examples to illustrate the wide range of interventions adopted over this time period. Among the initiatives examined in depth are efforts by states to provide technical assistance to schools and districts, offer students educational choices, engage communities in school improvement, take over low-performing schools and districts, create special state-run school districts, and close failing schools. Also discussed are district-initiated measures, including programs to standardize instruction, invative approaches to raising student achievement, and restructuring of district operations. The book concludes with an assessment of 15 years of turnaround initiatives and recommendations based on lessons learned over this time period.
Daniel L. Duke, internationally known specialist on school improvement, has written extensively on how to turn around low-performing schools. Besides conducting numerous studies of the turnaround process, Duke has designed training programs for turnaround specialists, conducted trainings, and consulted with states and school systems on ways to improve struggling schools.