Do Turnaround Schools actually Turn Around? #DataVizDay


The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has been identifying “underperforming”  (formerly Level Four) and “chronically underperforming”  (formerly Level Five) schools since 2010.

Sixty-five schools have been designated as “underperforming” and were required to develop and implement a “Turnaround Plan” or school redesign plan that aligned to DESE requirements.

Twenty-nine schools have been removed from “underperforming” status – about half of those designated since 2010.

Of the 65 schools who were identified as UP or CUP and developed DESE-style plans, seven schools have closed. Four schools have not yet completed three years under the turnaround plan and are not yet eligible to exit “underperforming” status.

Of the remaining 49 “underperforming” schools, four were designated “chronically underperforming” and 21 are still designated as “underperforming” schools. In 2018, the terms Level Four and Level Five were replaces with “In Need of Broad/Comprehensive Support. A DESE list of schools is available here.

Note that the terms “underperforming” and “chronically underperforming”  come from Massachusetts General Laws to label schools designed by the Commissioner or Board of Elementary and Secondary Education based on “multiple indicators of school quality in making determinations regarding underperformance or chronic underperformance, such as student attendance, dismissal rates and exclusion rates, promotion rates, graduation rates or the lack of demonstrated significant improvement for two or more consecutive years in core academic subjects…”


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