School Restructuring Options Under No Child Left Behind
What is the best course of action when schools are faced with restructuring? Four years after the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, this question is uppermost in the minds of schools and school districts across the country-especially those that have struggled to succeed with all of their students. Restructuring is a provision in the federal law that calls for a serious and systemic intervention by a school district in any of its schools that are chronically unable to meet established achievement targets (also know as adequate yearly progress, or AYP).
To provide decision makers with the information they need to make informed decisions about school restructuring, The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement recently commissioned a series of papers titled School Restructuring Options Under No Child Left Behind: What Works When? Each of the four papers focuses on one of the first four options identified in the law and summarizes the research base that supports it. The series is designed to help district leaders understand what is known about when and under what circumstances each of these options works to improve student learning.
This month's newsletter provides a snapshot of each paper in the What Works When series. The full text of each paper is available at http://www.centerforcsri.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=282&Itemid=88
The legislation is unambiguous. Schools that do not make AYP for five consecutive years must, under the direction of their school district, engage in restructuring that is consistent with existing state law. Districts can choose to do one of the following:
- Reopen the school as a public charter school.
- Replace all or most of school staff, including the principal.
- Enter into a contract with an entity such as a private management company with a demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school.
- Allow the state to take over the school.
- Engage in any other major restructuring of the school's governance arrangement (No Child Left Behind Act, 2002).
Reprinted with the permission of the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. © 2008 Learning Point Associates. All rights reserved.
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