Resources & Research

Policy and Procedures |

Using School Improvement Grant Funds to Increase Access to High-Quality Public Schools

This policy paper outlines a set of proposals that would allow states to use School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to open new and expand existing high-quality public charter schools. In January 2014, Congress took action to broaden states’ uses of SIG funds.

Report |

“Extraordinary Authority Districts”: Design Considerations— Framework and Takeaways

In this brief, Public Impact, in partnership with America Achieves, compiles common challenges and lessons learned from early-implementing “Extraordinary authority districts”—turnaround districts in which states gain legal authority to take over and operate chronically underperforming schools and/or districts state leaders who met for a wide-ranging discussion in 2013. Many of the takeaways are relevant no matter where a state stands in the process of pursuing a successful school turnaround strategy.


Report |

New Orleans-Style Education Reform: A Guide for Cities, Lessons Learned 2004–2010

This January 2012 guide from New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) focuses on lessons learned from school reform efforts in New Orleans. The guide provides historical context and detailed strategies for developing systems of charter school governance and accountability, building pools of leaders and teachers through training and recruitment, expanding successful schools and programs, generating demand for reform, raising funding, and planning for decentralization of schools.

Report |

Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools, IES Practice Guide

This May 2008 Practice Guide from the Institute of Education Sciences provides background information on critical topics related to school turnaround. The guide, based on an expert panel’s review of the topic, covers recommendations for best practices, summarizes related research, and rates the level of support the research provides for the recommendations. Checklists for implementing recommendations are also included.

Brief |

Starting Fresh in Low-Performing Schools Series

Starting Fresh in Low-Performing Schools, a 2006 series of five booklets covering strategies for dramatic interventions to turn around schools, was prepared for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. The series encapsulates concepts, practices, and lessons of effective authorization and oversight of charter schools to help guide restructuring of schools that are not meeting the performance requirements under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Article |

Charter School Center Newsletter: Hiring Turnaround Leaders

The Charter School Center's August 2010 newsletter focuses on hiring leaders for charter schools created under the restart model of school turnaround.

Toolkit |

School Restructuring: What Works When, A Guide for Education Leaders

Released in June 2010, this revised and updated guide by Learning Point Associates is intended to help state and district education leaders make major changes to chronically struggling schools, including restarting those schools as charter schools. 

Toolkit |

School Turnaround Leaders Selection Toolkit

This toolkit for hiring leaders for turnaround schools includes tools and checklists to guide officials through all stages of the selection process.

Report |

School Turnarounds: Leader Actions and Results

This 2008 Center on Innovation and Improvement study identifies 14 “leader actions” associated with successful turnarounds and examines how they have played out in turnaround schools.

Article |

The Big U-Turn: How to Bring Schools from the Brink of Doom to Stellar Success

This Winter 2009 Education Next article by Public Impact co-directors Emily Ayscue Hassel and Bryan Hassel identifies six leadership strategies that recur in successful school turnarounds.