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The School Turnaround Field Guide

The Obama administration’s bold action provides unprecedented levels of funding in the form of School Improvement Grants (SIG funds) and targets the poorest-performing schools in the Race to the Top (RTTT) program. Now, with the turnaround strategy in place, how can the fragmented state, district and private actors work together to truly achieve success?

A new report by FSG Social Impact Advisors, The School Turnaround Field Guide, assesses the critical juncture that the policy and practice of school turnaround faces.  The report is designed to increase education reformers’, practitioners’, and education and policy leaders’ awareness of the issue and prompt collaborative field work to produce the best turnaround work possible. Supported by the Wallace Foundation and based on more than 100 interviews with turnaround experts, practitioners, and policymakers, the report:

  1. Presents an overview of the school turnaround issue
  2. Identifies measures of success
  3. Surveys the policy and funding environment
  4. Compares the major turnaround models
  5. Provides a guide to important actors in the field and a highly visual map of their interrelated roles and funding

“To turn around thousands of schools, actors must work collectively and individually to scale nascent efforts, build capacity and address key gaps,” says Jeff Kutash, co-author and Managing Director at FSG.

If the goal is to systemically improve underperforming schools, cross-sector and cross-functional operators must work together to identify and spread effective practices and create the policies and conditions for success.      

Download The School Turnaround Field Guide from FSG Social Impact Advisors.

Please send us your ideas and feedback on the school turnaround issue at

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