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Turning around low-performing schools

Tomorrow, the Public School Forum of North Carolina will continue its Study Group Committee on Low Performing Schools with a presentation by Duke’s Helen “Sunny” Ladd on her research into the state’s turnaround efforts in elementary and middle schools. Read her research here.

In anticipation, we’re posting some of the videos from the Public School Forum’s March 23rd event on Low-Performing Schools.

The committee heard from Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design Principal Jim Argent, Wake County Eastern Area Superintendent Dr. Edward McFarland, and Eric Grebing from NC New Schools | Breakthrough Learning on District and School Turnaround. After those presentations, a panel, which included a parent, teacher and student discussed turnaround efforts. See the videos below.

Wake County Eastern Area Superintendent Dr. Edward McFarland

Eric Grebing from NC New Schools | Breakthrough Learning

Turnaround Panel Discussion

Ladd’s research, which she will present on tomorrow, paints a less-than-flattering view of state turnaround efforts. But research by Vanderbilt’s Gary Henry has reached far different conclusions, stating that state turnaround efforts have made gains. EdNC reported on his research on TALAS, Turning Around the Lowest Achieving Schools in North Carolina, previously. Read it here.

And here is a video of Henry discussing TALAS:

According to an article in the News & Observer, “Gary Henry, one of the researchers who evaluated the program results for the state, said that his findings and Ladd’s do not conflict. His examinations had a different focus, he said.”

EdNC will continue to research and report on the state’s efforts to turnaround low performing schools.

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation for providing these videos.


Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.