American Institutes for Research Speakers Featured at a Forum on the Role School Districts Play in Turning Around Low-Performing Schools

Washington, D.C. – Rebecca Herman and Dawn Dolby, school turnaround experts with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), will be featured speakers at a forum June 28, 2011 at the U.S. Capitol that focuses on the role of school districts in providing necessary support for turning around chronically low-performing schools.

The event, “Hitting Reset: New Approaches to School Improvement,” will be held on June 28, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m ET in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Senate Meeting Room, SVC 209.

The forum, co-sponsored by Education Week and AIR, is one in a series of forums that have been held over the past year to address key questions that will shape the formation and future direction of K-12 education policy in light of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Herman, a managing research analyst at AIR, will draw on her research and knowledge of federal policy on improving low-performing schools to set the context of the forum. She is currently the principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Education’s Impact Evaluation of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants. Herman also was a leader of a study for the Department that produced the report Turning Around Chronically Low Performing Schools.

Dolby, a senior program associate with AIR, has nearly 25 years of experience as a teacher, professional development trainer, and school improvement specialist. Her current work focuses on supporting secondary schools in Missouri, Michigan, and Illinois in turnaround strategy design and implementation.

Other speakers will include Virginia Edwards, the publisher of Education Week; Michael Haggen, St. Louis Public Schools; Terry Holiday, Kentucky Department of Education; Bethany Little, U.S. Senate HELP Committee; and Brad Thomas, U.S. House Education & the Workforce Committee.

The forum also will feature the release of two pocket guides on aspects of the reauthorization of ESEA. The Educator Effectiveness and School Turnaround pocket guides, written by AIR experts, focus on provisions in the law to improve low-performing schools and ensure highly-effective teachers.

To RSVP to the forum, contact Kacy Sellers. The guides are available on the AIR website.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit


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