Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this Education Dive post, a school turnaround expert in Georgia expresses the opinion that collaboration with leaders and businesses can help save failing schools, not government-mandated takeovers.
• Are policymakers too quick to give up on schools that show poor outcomes? What can nonprofits and other organizations do to facilitate more productive partnerships?
Georgia’s top school turnaround expert says the key to salvaging failing schools is collaboration, not compulsion or a state-mandated takeover of those schools. Formerly a chief support officer with the University of Virginia’s school turnaround program, Eric Thomas had this to say to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC): “If we ever get to the point of taking over schools, that means we failed. That means we didn’t do our job very well.”
Research suggests that hostile takeovers and large-scale turnaround efforts historically do not work, according to the AJC article. What does work, Thomas says, is pairing school leaders with business executives so that in addition to curriculum and instruction, educators become versed in resource allocation, alignment and returns on investment.
In addition, Thomas says, many of the challenges faced by failing schools are related to a range of factors that affect young people outside the classroom. Health and wellness screenings, for example, are an integral element in improving school culture. “What I am interested in,” he says, “is how do we assure we are saving kids, not getting rid of kids.”
Read the full article about how collaboration can help save failing schools by Lucy Hood at Education Dive.
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