Takeaways from School Leadership Development in Challenging Districts RCC


By WestEd

West Comprehensive Center at WestEd

Publication August 15, 2015
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A new report by WestEd documents the continued challenge of sustaining improvements in districts that serve large numbers of disadvantaged students. This case study from Arizona documents the positive impacts of a leadership training program which helped leaders generate higher academic expectations, data use and awareness, and staff collaboration in their districts.

Administrators and teacher leaders from two districts in Arizona attended the School Turnaround Specialist Program at the University of Virginia, with support from the West Comprehensive Center at WestEd. Participants receive leadership-based professional development and monitoring over a two and one-half year period with the goal of producing significant gains in student outcomes. By analyzing and applying case studies of how teams historically have solved intractable problems, school administrators learn how to focus on raising achievement in persistently low-performing schools.

Although sustainability remains a challenge due to leadership and staff turnover, the case study documents the importance of involving the community in the turnaround process.

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