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Exclusive Map: Experts Review the States That Have (and Haven’t) Developed New School Turnaround Plans Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

By Steve Snyder | November 15, 2018

The 74 is partnering with the Collaborative for Student Success to track and review the states that are developing new school improvement plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

ESSA empowers states to choose their own approach in identifying strategies and employing federal funds to turn around low-performing schools. The Collaborative, working in partnership with HCM Strategists, took an initial snapshot of these state-level efforts on Sept. 1, bringing together an array of education experts to examine and critique the first batch of turnaround proposals.

That preliminary review was published on Nov. 15, offering a deep dive into 17 state turnaround plans.

The 74’s Carolyn Phenicie published a thorough recap of the good, the bad, and the ugly that surfaced in that initial review. On the same day, we launched Schoolimprovement.the74million.org, an interactive map that will update as states issue new turnaround plans and revisions, as well as later critiques from the Collaborative’s group of experts. Click on the map below to see your state’s current proposal:

 

Visitors can click on any state, see the experts’ analysis of current plans, and also gain direct access to the primary documents filed by local government leaders. You can find the full map right here.

Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from the initial critique of 17 state plans; the reviewers seemed particularly impressed with those of Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, and Tennessee:

Louisiana: Praised for a coherent vision and prioritizing resources to districts that demonstrate a commitment to real improvement. (Read the full review)

Massachusetts: Praised for vision, building of capacity, encouraging evidence-based interventions, and taking a leadership approach to school improvement efforts. (Read the full review)

Nevada: Praised for its competitive process for allocating funds, as well as its strong application and rubric. (Read the full review)

New Mexico: Praised for vision, funding, and enabling autonomy, as well as taking a leadership approach to school improvement efforts. (Read the full review)

Tennessee: Praised for vision, evidence-based interventions, rigorous reviews, and capacity building. (Read the full review)

Takeaways from the other 12 plans:

Arizona critiqued for a hands-off approach experts considered high-risk. (Read the full review)

Colorado praised for an innovative menu of supports to districts, but criticized for using a hands-off approach. (Read the full review)

Connecticut praised for evidence-based interventions but criticized for a lack of vision or consequences for districts that fail to make real improvements. (Read the full review)

Florida criticized for a hands-off approach experts considered high-risk. (Read the full review)

Georgia praised for its approach to equity and employing evidence-based strategies, but criticized for a hands-off approach that experts considered high-risk. (Read the full review)

Idaho praised for engagement, but criticized for a lack of vision and specificity on supports for subgroup achievement gaps. (Read the full review)

Illinois praised for providing a clear improvement framework and delivering trainings to districts, but criticized for incomplete materials and a hands-off approach that experts considered high-risk. (Read the full review)

Indiana praised for vision but criticized for incomplete materials and a hands-off approach that experts considered high-risk. (Read the full review)

Minnesota praised for vision but criticized for a lack of robust materials with clear guidance for educators. (Read the full review)

New York praised for partnering with schools and districts, but criticized for a hands-off approach experts considered high-risk. (Read the full review)

North Dakota praised for providing supports and trainings, but criticized for a lack of vision on how lasting improvements will be made. (Read the full review)

Texas critiqued for a hands-off approach experts considered high-risk. (Read the full review)

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