Efforts to improve conditions and outcomes in the lowest-performing schools and districts remain a high priority for policymakers and for AIR. While policy initiatives, targeted technical assistance, and research findings have yielded some success, students in these struggling schools deserve our perseverance. AIR researchers have conducted ground-breaking research and evaluation of state and federal education policies, including rigorous impact analyses and case studies that reveal contextual details of the school change process.
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9 Mar 2016
School improvement policy for the past few decades has been characterized by mandated lists of activities designed to stimulate a dramatic turnaround in student achievement. In the long run, this policy approach did not engender the necessary school-level changes. This brief demonstrates why new policies must aim to get the right people in our schools and to create district and state systems that retain those people and build their knowledge and skills.