This entry is cross-posted on the ed.gov blog.
It’s not every day I get a first-hand look at the transformation that’s taking place in our schools as dedicated school and district leaders undertake the difficult work of turning around the lowest performing schools around the country. But last week, I had the pleasure of visiting three Miami-Dade County Public Schools high schools that have begun this effort. It was a wonderful opportunity to see our School Improvement Grants (SIG) at work on the ground, and I’m excited to share with others some of the great work that is being done by the teams in Miami-Dade County.
As we get deeper into the school year, OESE in particular is focusing on supporting schools and districts as they implement turnaround models, using our school improvement grants.
I wanted to share this video of a particularly inspiring example of a successful turnaround school: George C. Hall Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama. OESE’s deputy assistant secretary, Dr. Carl Harris, tells me that he shared this very example at a turnaround event held just yesterday in North Carolina. I think it’s really helpful to share success stories with one another, and to create these communities of practice.
I mentioned how busy it was last week for the Department – it was also a busy week for me personally, as I traveled to California to take part in several conferences and events!
In particular, I had the privilege of attending a conference on school turnarounds, which brought together school, district, and state leaders from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. The conference focused on sharing research available on school turnarounds, and provided valuable information on how to apply these research-based practices on the ground. This sharing and learning from one another will be critical as states and districts move forward with the important work of turning around low-achieving schools to better serve our students.