Is school turn-around the answer for schools mired in low achievement and low morale? A recent meta-analysis of 35 studies by Redding and Nguyen seeks to add evidence to this policy-important question. Specifically, they examined studies looking at school transformation, school turnover, school restart, and accountability-driven closures, excluding comprehensive school reform or financial or charter closures.
- Overall, the authors found positive effects of turnaround on attendance (ES =+0 .41), graduation (ES =+0.10), and math and ELA achievement (ES = +0.08, +0.04).
- The authors also found that these effects varied by turnaround model (e.g., transformation vs. restart), length of time since turnaround, governance changes, and chosen research design.
Important to note when considering these findings, the authors acknowledge the mixed quality of the included studies and variability among the turnaround models assessed in the studies (being more descriptive rather than evaluating particular policy initiatives).
Source: Redding, C., & Nguyen, T. D. (2020). The relationship between school turnaround and student outcomes: A meta-analysis. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Advanced Online Publication. Doi: 10.3102/0162373720949513.