Northwest Regional Comprehensive Center

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School Turnaround

To ensure the success of all students, improving low-performing schools is critically important. The NWCC provides technical assistance to build Northwest states’ capacity to support their districts and schools in turning around their lowest performing schools.

The following resources related to this priority area have been compiled by NWCC staff.


The State Role in School Turnaround: Emerging Best Practices

The Center on School Turnaround released an online book examining the role of the state education agency in school turnaround efforts. An emphasis is placed on practical application of research and best practice related to the State Education Agency’s (SEA’s) critical leadership role in driving and...

State Education Reform Within Reach? Exploring the Effectiveness of State Support Teams for Districts and Schools

The Center for American Progress released a brief exploring one part of states’ work for school improvement—specifically, how state support teams have improved school performance. This brief also considers what issues school leaders face and how these support teams have attempted to help schools...

Montana Schools of Promise: The Story of Montana’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) Model

Turning around persistently low-performing schools is a critical problem facing our nation. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education launched an ambitious effort to address that challenge, investing $3.5 billion to fund the School Improvement Grant’s (SIG) Recovery Act program. As part of that...

Summary of States’ Strategies and Consequences for ESEA Focus Schools

The brief is an attempt to summarize the states’ strategies and consequences for focus schools, primarily from their responses to section 2.3.iii of the flexibility request: Describe the process and timeline the SEA will use to ensure that each LEA that has one or more focus schools will...

Investing for Sustainable Turnaround: Turnaround Brief #2

Education Resource Strategies released a brief compiling and analyzing the results of the Sustaining Turnaround at Scale Summit held in October 2011.

Transforming Low-performing Rural Schools

The Texas Comprehensive Center released a brief examining both the challenges of transforming rural schools and districts and the opportunities to integrate the unique attributes and resources found in rural communities into school improvement efforts to promote the transformation of low-performing...

Special Reports on School Improvement Grants

The Center on Education Policy released a series of three reports examining implementation of the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program.

The Montana Story: Providing Support to Frontier Communities Through State Oversight, Embedded Coaching, and Community Engagement

Center on Innovation and Improvement released a new Promising Practices paper. As state education agency budgets decrease, state education leaders must develop strategies to do more with fewer resources.

What are the Characteristics, Qualifications, Roles, and Functions of School Support Teams? An Examination of Survey Results for Four Northwest Region States

Support teams work as external facilitators of improvement in schools and districts designated as in need of improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act. REL Northwest has released a study finding that team members in four Northwest region states share many characteristics and qualifications and...

Coaching for School Improvement: A Guide for Coaches and Their Supervisors

The Center on Innovation and Improvement (CII) has released a guide offering tools, tips, and strategies for coaches working with school improvement teams.

Leveraging the Unique Features of Small, Rural Schools for Improvement: Lessons Learned

Education Northwest recently released a brief describing some of the factors that distinguish rural schools from each other, as well as from those in urban communities.

Transforming a Statewide System of Support: The Idaho Story

The Center on Innovation and Improvement (CII) released a case study of the Idaho State Department of Education (IDE).

Lessons Learned: Choosing a School Turnaround Partner

The process of selecting a school turnaround provider can seem overwhelming, with so many choices and so little time and information.


Education Resource Strategies has updated their online tool designed to help districts identify/align the resources needed to support transformational strategies.

Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools

The U.S. Department of Education recently released a guide identifying practices that can improve the performance of chronically low-performing schools. The four recommendations in this guide work together to help failing schools make adequate yearly progress.

Strengthening the Statewide System of Support: A Manual for the Comprehensive Center and State Education Agency

Strengthening the Statewide System of Support is a technical assistance manual and a companion to the Handbook on Statewide Systems of Support.

Handbook on Restructuring and Substantial School Improvement

The Center on Innovation & Improvement has recently the Handbook on Restructuring and Substantial School Improvement. The Handbook's purpose is to assist states, districts, and schools in establishing policies, procedures, and support to successfully restructure schools.