Turnaround School Series

George Hall relies on school-wide lesson plans and behavior policies, not to mention constant striving for improvement. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio / Making The Grade / Turnaround School Series

School Turnaround: From Disaster To National Leader

Imagine a school in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood – discipline problems, dismal reputation, among the worst test scores in Alabama. That was Mobile’s George Hall Elementary in 2004. Now imagine a school known nationwide for innovative teaching and high performance.That’s George Hall Elementary now. In Part IV of our series on “Turnaround Schools,” we find out how they did it.

Can A School Go “F” To “B” In One Year?
Audio / Making The Grade / Mississippi / Turnaround School Series

Can A School Go “F” To “B” In One Year?

A once failing Delta magnet school made the largest test score gains of any school in Mississippi. Part III of our series on “Turnaround Schools” shows how and why.

Your Thoughts On Turnaround Schools
Community / Turnaround School Series

Your Thoughts On Turnaround Schools

A recap of the responses we received when we asked our audience to share experiences with Turnaround Schools. Are there characteristics that are common to all turnaround schools and can other schools use them as a model for achieving their own success? What are the elements needed to turn a school around?

Just one group of students whom staff walk home each day. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio / Making The Grade / Turnaround School Series

School Turnaround: How Did George Hall Do It?

Sometimes, poorly run disadvantaged schools defy the statistics and turn themselves around. Sometimes, they can even rise so high they become national models for education in any neighborhood. In the conclusion of our series on “Turnaround Schools,” we pick up the story of an elementary school that did just that. How did it happen? It wasn’t easy, but persistence, teamwork, and a belief in the students won out.

Amy Luna, left, with third grade student Sarah Lawrence. "It's a good school," Lawrence says, "it's gonna take me to good places - like good colleges, and good places to work."
Audio / Making The Grade / Tennessee / Turnaround School Series

A Tennessee Elementary School Faces Two Types Of Turnaround

In three years, Inskip Elementary in East Tennessee went from a failing school to the state’s top ten list. But an attempt on the principal’s life would put the school’s turnaround to the test again. Part II in our series on “Turnaround Schools.”

Josey High School principal Ronald Wiggins helps students in Shannon Moore's chemistry class. Photo by Maura Walz.
Audio / Georgia / Making The Grade / Turnaround School Series

In Georgia, A Turnaround High School Looks To Sustain Its Progress

The first report in our series on “Turnaround Schools” comes from Georgia. Three years ago, a group of the lowest-performing schools in the state began receiving millions of dollars in federal money to fund an ambitious attempt to improve dramatically. As those schools enter their final school year receiving that money, we check in on one school’s progress.

Students in Sterchi's school library. Image courtesy of Sterchi Elementary.
Audio / Making The Grade / Tennessee / Turnaround School Series

A Gap-Closing Year

An elementary school in East Tennessee failed to meet performance measures in 2010. By the next year, they were well beyond the state average. Principal Cindy Bosse reveals how the school turned around their scores in a year.

For those at Wingfield High School, changing a school has to mean changing people's minds. Photo by Annie Gilbertson.
Audio / Mississippi / Turnaround School Series

How To Turn Around A Failing School…Maybe

The federal government says if school districts come up with a strong plan to change their worst schools, they will provide federal dollars to pay for it. But what to do? And how do you know it will be effective?