The goal of this practice guide is to formulate specific and coherent evidence-based recommendations for use by educators aiming to quickly and dramatically improve student achievement in low-performing schools. Although schoolwide reform models exist, most assume a slow and steady approach to school reform. They do not seek to achieve the kind of quick school turnaround we examine in this practice guide. That is not to say that schools using a packaged schoolwide reform model could not experience dramatic and quick results. Often the differentiating factors are the intensity of the turnaround practices and the speed of putting them in place.
Our expectation is that a superintendent, a principal, or a site-based decision-making council can use this practice guide to help plan and execute school turnaround strategies. The target audience includes school administrators and district-level administrators, key because they can help break down policy and administrative barriers and ease the implementation of intensive school turnaround practices. This guide can help them develop practice and policy alternatives for immediate implementation in schools.