February 14, 2017

Betty Malen, (301) 405-3587, malen@umd.edu
Daniel J. Quinn, (517) 203-2940, dquinn@greatlakescenter.org

School Turnaround Report Falls Short

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Feb. 14, 2017) — A recent report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) attempted to provide evidence for states seeking to better support state-initiated turnaround strategies. The report sought to identify effective mechanisms states can use to improve school performance. A review of the report found it offers some useful background, but falls short of achieving its goals.

Betty Malen and Jennifer King Rice, University of Maryland, reviewed the report, Measures of Last Resort: Assessing Strategies for State-Initiated Turnarounds, for the Think Twice think tank review project. Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), is funded in part by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Despite its stated goals, the reviewers found that it fails to deliver. The reviewers say, "At best, it provides a broad-brush profile of the various forms of state initiated turnarounds."

Although the report draws on multiple sources of information, the review finds the following limitations:

  1. The report fails to elevate the research base or the policy discourse;
  2. The methods used are neither well-described nor justified;
  3. The evidence provided does not support the claims made; and
  4. The report neglects to consider relevant research on the specific turnaround mechanisms available to states.

Malen and Rice conclude, "As a result of these problems, the report does not enhance the evidence base or provide the substantive guidance state policymakers require to make informed decisions about the use of the various school turnaround strategies."

Find the review on the GLC website:

Find the report on the web:

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The review can also be found on the NEPC website:

- ### -

Friend on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/