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Home Publications Summary of research on the association between state interventions in chronically low-performing schools and student achievement

Summary of research on the association between state interventions in chronically low-performing schools and student achievement

by Helen Apthorp, Trudy Cherasaro and Mary Klute

This report summarizes the research on the association between state interventions in chronically low-performing schools and student achievement. Most of the research focused on one type of state intervention: working with a turnaround partner. Few studies were identified that examined other types of interventions, such as school closure, charter conversion, and school redesign. Most studies were descriptive, which limits the conclusions that can be drawn about the effectiveness of the interventions. Results of studies of turnaround partner interventions were mixed and suggested that student achievement was more likely to improve when particular factors--such as strong leadership, use of data to guide instruction, and a positive school culture characterized by trust and increased expectations for students--were in place in schools. Studies in California examined the Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program or its successor, the High Priority School Grant Program. Ten studies examined interventions in states other than California. Studies varied somewhat in the details of the interventions studied, including whether additional funding was provided to support implementation of reforms. Unlike interventions in California, studies in other states did not describe school participation in interventions as voluntary. The following are appended: (1) Literature search procedures; and (2) Characteristics of studies included in the literature review.

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