Charter schools are held to certain standards by the government. Authorizers assist schools in monitoring these standards, adjusting school practices, and creating progress. In this series, we will discuss the different school turnarounds that can occur to promote better student learning and more progress for schools. School turnarounds are a team effort and require numerous stakeholders to be on board. In this series, we hope to debunk myths around school turnarounds and display the life-changing components school turnarounds can bring.
What is school turnaround?
We define school turnaround as a process to drastically improve student achievement. This process requires the hiring of a turnaround specialist, not currently affiliated with the organization, to completely restructure the organization’s leadership. Once the specialist is hired, the turnaround process takes years and much dedication from staff and the board. Oftentimes, the turnaround is seen as a community initiative in order to create a stronger, more lasting impact on the school. This type of community-based turnaround provides more social and racial justice, thus disrupting the typical power struggles within schools.
School Turnaround: LoveWorks Academy
Pillsbury United Communities is an Authorizer that creates opportunities for underserved children. LoveWorks is completely entrepreneurial in nature and operates with the utmost ingenuity. Due to the extremely high amount of schools that are underperforming, LoveWorks Academy decided to begin the first operator-led school turnaround. The community was seeking a complete turnaround of the academic performance of the school, so the process was quite revolutionary. The School Improvement Grant program has completely transformed the way that schools are able to transform. The federal government would like the grant to create a transformative, nationwide explosion of academic success. LoveWorks is one of many charters that took the initiative to become a positive change agent in their community. If you would like to read more on LoveWorks, there are numerous articles written about the work that has been done to transform the school.