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High Stakes Testing Conundrum – Turnaround Programs

Our book Turning Around Turnaround Schools is intended for those who work in or with turnaround schools, though the approach to education presented works with any type of school (public, private, charter, and so on) at any level (struggling, passing, blue ribbon, and so on). We hope to share the lessons we have learned and describe strategies and processes that have proven successful for us. Most importantly, we hope to provide for you a set of understandings and tools that will guide your work and make you a more intentional, effective agent of change.  Find it online at: The following contains information from our book:

Educators devote their lives to a profound purpose: educating the next generation. Education is the greatest gift and provides the best foundation on which to build our society. With finite resources, such as time and funding, administrators look for help and solutions to the problems they face in turnaround schools.

At Ed Directions, our cumulative experience taught us that the most common error in the approach to helping struggling schools comes from trying to force-fit a one-size-fits-all solution or from just tweaking a component of the school rather than looking at it holistically. In the mid-1990s, we as a group of educators got tired of pretending that schools were getting better and decided to actually help them get better. In part, this meant accepting the premise that most of the theories and best practices regarding helping turnaround schools were flawed or, at least, incomplete. Our solution is not one program that can fix all schools but, rather, one process by which to identify root problems and implement a unique and interactive action plan.

This turnaround in turnaround thinking means being student-focused in both operational planning and curriculum design, asking the right questions to inform planning, knowing how to interpret the available data resources, monitoring progress, and, in most cases, navigating politics. Sometimes when you look at the whole process at once, it seems insurmountable. Although reforming schools is no small task, it is manageable.

Above all, realize you are the expert in your school. No one has the firsthand knowledge you do. It takes time and intentional design to improve student performance, but it can be done.

Want to learn more about how we can partner to put the Educational Directions process to work for your school or district?  Contact us today and let’s get a conversation started about how we can work together to achieve student success.

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