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Turning Around Low-Performing Schools in Chicago [Copertina flessibile]

Marisa de la Torre , Elaine Allensworth , Sanja Jagesic , James Sebastian , Michael Salmonowicz , Coby Meyers , R. Dean Gerdeman

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Descrizione del libro

3 maggio 2013
The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (UChicago CCSR) builds the capacity for school reform by conducting research that identifies what matters for student success and school improvement. This report finds that four years after undergoing dramatic reform efforts such as turnaround, very low-performing elementary schools in Chicago closed the gap in test scores with the system average by almost half in reading and two-thirds in math. The improvements took time to develop; test scores were not significantly better in the first year of reform, but grew larger over time. The study examined five different reform models initiated by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in 36 elementary and high schools identified as chronically low performing. The five reform models were: Reconstitution; School Closure and Restart; School Turnaround Specialist Program; Academy for Urban School Leadership; and Office of School Improvement. Each is consistent with one of the four improvement models recommended by the federal government (turnaround, transformation, restart, and school closure). Despite the attention and activity surrounding the models, there is a lack of research on whether or how they work. To begin to address this knowledge gap, CCSR and AIR partnered to examine dramatic interventions in Chicago, an early adopter of such reforms. The report also finds high schools that underwent reform did not show significant improvements in absences or ninth grade on-track-to-graduate rates over matched comparison schools, however recent high school efforts look more promising than earlier ones. Changes in student populations varied across reform models. Schools that underwent these reforms and remained neighborhood schools generally served the same students, and the same types of students, as before intervention. Schools that were closed and replaced with charter or contract schools generally served more advantaged students after intervention. The teacher workforce after intervention across all models was more likely to be white, younger, and less experienced.

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MARISA DE LA TORRE is an Associate Director at UChicago CCSR. Before joining UChicago CCSR, she worked for the CPS Office of Research, Evaluation, and Accountability. She received a master’s degree in Economics from Northwestern University. ELAINE ALLENSWORTH, PHD is the Executive Director of UChicago CCSR. She conducts research on factors affecting school improvement and students’ educational attainment, including high school graduation, college readiness, curriculum and instruction, and school organization and leadership. SANJA JAGESIC is a Research Assistant at UChicago CCSR. She holds an MA in Sociology from the University of Chicago and a BA in Sociology and German from Wellesley College. She is currently working toward her PhD in Sociology at the University of Chicago. JAMES SEBASTIAN is a Senior Researcher at UChicago CCSR. He received his MS and PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin Madison. MICHAEL SALMONOWICZ is a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and a former Research Analyst at UChicago CCSR. He was a CPS teacher for three years. COBY MEYERS is a researcher at the American Institutes for Research. He received his MA in secondary education from the University of Kentucky and his PhD in education leadership, policy, and organizations at Vanderbilt University. DEAN GERDEMAN is a Principal Researcher on the Education, Human Development, and the Workforce team at the American Institutes for Research. The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (UChicago CCSR) builds the capacity for school reform by conducting research that identifies what matters for student success and school improvement. Created in 1990, UChicago CCSR conducts research of high technical quality that can inform and assess policy and practice in the Chicago Public Schools. UChicago CCSR studies also have informed broader national movements in public education. UChicago CCSR encourages the use of research in policy action and improvement of practice but does not argue for particular policies or programs. Rather, UChicago CCSR helps to build capacity for school reform by identifying what matters for student success and school improvement, creating critical indicators to chart progress, and conducting theory-driven evaluation to identify how programs and policies are working.

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