School Turnarounds: Learning from Practice and Research

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.

I really enjoyed the panel of superintendents, who discussed their work in turning around schools in their districts. It was truly inspiring to hear about the great work that is happening on the ground! I particularly want to acknowledge two superintendents who are doing incredible things with their schools: Heath Morrison, of Washoe County School District in Nevada, and Marcus Johnson, from the Sanger Unified School District in California. I know everyone in attendance appreciated the opportunity to learn from these leaders, and I would encourage others to seek out these superintendents and others to create communities of learning and practice!

In other school turnaround news, we released our second issue of the School Turnaround newsletter not too long ago, and it’s available online. The newsletter aims to connect states and districts to school turnaround resources that are available online and through various publications.

We hope these resources are useful to states, districts, and schools. As always, if you have any suggestions and feedback, please don’t hesitate to email me at