The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) and the National Center for School Turnaround (2018) published the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: An Implementation Framework as a companion to the Center for School Turnaround’s (2017) recent publication of The Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework. The aim of this companion paper is to describe how to use the improvement domains in practice.
The purpose of this meeting is to provide states the opportunity to collaborate and discuss key issues as they work to close opportunity and achievement gaps by supporting turnaround in the lowest performing schools and schools with the largest opportunity and achievement gaps. This meeting features panel discussions and leverage peer-to-peer learning with intentional time for state discussions and interaction. The meeting primarily consists of a variety of breakout sessions during which state teams will have an opportunity to determine how the topics apply to their state and what actions they might take next.
Key Meeting Objectives
- Provide an opportunity for within-state collaboration to problem solve and develop strategies to enhance implementation of supports and interventions to assist in closing the opportunity and achievement gaps across schools and districts;
- Engage in peer-to-peer learning within and across states to discuss promising practices and lessons learned from this work, and determine appropriate next steps for actualizing new ideas; and
- Leave the meeting with a deeper knowledge of how other states support efforts to close the opportunity and achievement gaps in the lowest performing schools and with concrete ideas for application within states.
Below you will find a link to download materials from the conference.
The purpose of the School Turnaround Academy is to elevate a state education agency’s (SEA) understanding of research and practice on school turnaround and how a state’s turnaround policies and strategies fit within a coherent system of support and intervention for districts and schools in need of improvement.
Materials for the following events are provided in our archive:
- School Transformation: Apply a Research-Based Definition of School Turnaround to Illinois Data presented by Jeanette P. Cornier
- National Perspective on Transformation & Reflection on SIG Intervention Models presented by Carlas McCauley
- Relentless Focus on Instruction in Transformation: Closing the Opportunity and Achievement Gap presented by Kevin Schaefer and Lauren Rhim
- Dynamics of Change: Innovation and Personalization presented by Sam Redding
- Network of Learners presented by Rachel Trimble
Learning Exchange #3: Closing the Achievement Gap for Poverty Students
- School Transformation Academy: Network of Learners (Thursday, March 10, 2016) presented by Monique M. Chism
Learning Exchange #2: Closing the Achievement Gap for Students with Disabilities
- School Transformation Academy: Network of Learners (Thursday, March 10, 2016) presented by Rorie Fitzpatrick
Learning Exchange #1: Closing the Achievement Gap for English Learning Students
- Closing the Achievement Gap for English Learning Students presented by Aida Walqui
- Learning Exchange Resources
- Resource Lists: English Learners, Students with Disabilities, & Poverty
- Team Leads Monthly Call Archive
In recent years, rapid school improvement — known most commonly as school turnaround — has emerged as the chief focus of dramatic and systemic efforts aimed at giving students better schools. To assist states, districts, and schools in leading or managing these efforts, in 2017 the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd (CST) developed Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework. That framework identifies four areas of focus that research and experience point to as central to rapid and significant improvement: turnaround leadership, talent development, instructional transformation, and culture shift. Within each domain, the framework also identifies three critical practices for taking action. The intent was to organize and frame the field’s learning about rapid school improvement efforts and how improvement decisions made at any one level could have a lasting impact across all levels of a system comprising the state education agency (SEA), the local education agency (LEA), and the individual school.
This subsequent document, which is intended to facilitate educators’ ability to take and track action within each domain, provides the specificity of indicators for each practice identified in the framework. An indicator of effective practice is what Redding (2013) calls a concrete behavioral expression of a particular professional practice that research has shown to contribute to student learning. The indicators presented in this document are expressed in plain language so school, district, and state teams can identify with greater certainty whether a relevant practice from the four domains is standard and routinely operational or whether more work is needed.
A partnership of four education organizations studying issues surrounding school turnaround—The Center on School Turnaround at WestEd, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, Public Impact, and the University of Virginia Darden/Curry Partnership—have made available materials that can assist state and local education agencies in recruiting, selecting, developing, and retaining school turnaround leaders.
To date, the range of efforts to turn around the nation’s low-performing schools have shown mixed results. A significant part of the challenge has been the lack of turnaround leaders available to lead these schools.
To help school districts find candidates with the competencies necessary for the job of school turnaround leader, the four-agency partnership is producing and distributing a professional learning module on these three topics:
- Part 1: Understanding Turnaround Leader Competencies
- Part 2: Recruiting and Selecting Turnaround Leaders
- Part 3: Developing and Supporting Turnaround Leaders
The materials may be used and adapted to fit the needs of any given state or local context. The four organizations releasing today’s materials recommend a comprehensive and systemic approach to addressing the leadership challenge.
All materials are available on the GTL Center’s Professional Learning Modules website. These materials may be used and adapted to fit the needs of the state context. To cite the content, please use the following statement: These materials have been adapted in whole or in part with permission from the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd, Public Impact, and the University of Virginia Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education.
As researchers, decision-makers, and practitioners focus on continuous improvement in education, local-level change is gaining importance. Yet, many local school improvement efforts fail to be fully implemented. Even those that are fully implemented often fail to sustain improvements because the schools are embedded in systems that face multiple challenges. Can decision-makers and everyone who is responsible for implementing school improvement efforts come together to build a better, more sustainable approach to local improvement? This toolkit attempts to support such coming together by combining a powerful framework for school turnaround with a focus on the human side of change. The toolkit is built on the intersections between Leading by Convening, a blueprint for authentic engagement in school improvement developed by 50 national organizations and adopted by the National Center for Systemic Improvement, and the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement, a framework developed by the national Center on School Turnaround (CST).
Building the capacity of individuals working in schools, districts, and states to support reform efforts is critical. Also critical to sustainable and systemic school improvement efforts is ensuring that individuals across all levels of the system are engaged in reform. This document focuses on capacity and efforts to engage stakeholders across the system to support rapid improvement. In doing so, this toolkit is intended to support states, districts, and schools in their efforts to improve schools. This toolkit incorporates the Leading by Convening approach as a way to build capacity and engage stakeholders in the implementation of the Center on School Turnaround’s Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement. Readers of this toolkit may use it to build capacity across the domains.