ESSA │Low-Performing Schools
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. Under ESSA, support for the lowest-performing schools and districts is primarily under the purview of states. The NCLB era sequence of sanctions for underperforming schools has been replaced by a more flexible approach to school improvement, relying on approaches tailored to each state and district context.
The experts at AIR support low-performing schools and districts through technical assistance as well as research and evaluation that continue to advance the field. For example, AIR’s District and School Improvement Center (DSI Center) offers evidence-based and customizable support to district and schools that lead to sustainable systems, increase the capacity of leaders and teaches, and ensures equity for all students. The State Support Network operated by AIR is a technical assistance initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of State Support designed to support school improvement efforts by providing States and districts with opportunities to engage with their peers and connect with experts and resources.
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.
- School Improvement Path (PDF)
- Framework for Systemic Improvement (PDF)
- Evaluation of Massachusetts School Redesign Grants
- Coaching and Developing Turnaround Leader Actions Professional Learning Module Facilitators Guide (PDF)
- Case Studies of School Receiving School Improvement Grants
- How Can States Equip School Districts to Adopt Evidence-Based Interventions?
AIR Centers with Related Content
AIR operates a number of national, regional, and state centers that produce publicly available resources. The centers that have a specific focus on low-performing schools are as follows: