Turning Around Schools

January 19, 2011  • Education Innovation Forum and Expo

Our proposal will build capacity to expand on two fronts: turning around the lowest performing elementary schools in Chicago and training other districts and turnaround operators to implement our model in their schools. First, we propose to scale up and implement AUSL’s turnaround model in a total of 34 low-performing schools in Chicago over the next five years. Beyond the grant period, AUSL will eliminate the need for new turnaround elementary schools by turning around the worst 70 schools by 2020.AUSL has more experience and success in turning around persistently low-performing high-poverty elementary schools than any organization in the country. AUSL’s model works within the existing school system in close partnership with the district and with union teachers, many of whom are trained in AUSL’s one year urban teacher residency program. AUSL turnaround schools are regular neighborhood schools that accept all students within the attendance area, as opposed to selective enrollment, lottery system or parent opt-in schools such as charters. The initial turnaround takes place over summer break to minimize disruption to students and families. Students leave in June and the same students return to their neighborhood school in September to a new leadership team, new teachers, new curriculum and renovated facilities. Most importantly, students return to new expectations for success and a positive environment for learning.

To learn more, contact Bridget Altenburg.