The quest for school improvement is old. The demand for dramatic, immediate school improvement is new. Even as President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan commit $4.3 billion to making 5,000 of the nation's worst-performing schools better now, few people know what that really looks like-or how it actually works. How do school and district leaders enact rapid and meaningful reform that truly transforms the lives and learning of their students? Inside School Turnarounds uses on-the-ground reporting and up-to-the-minute research to provide a compelling and insightful exploration of the work of school turnarounds. Veteran education journalist Laura Pappano gathers stories, ideas, emerging practices, and honest admissions about what has worked and what hasn't for schools and districts caught in midstream as they navigate this uncertain journey. In the voices of administrators, teachers, children, and parents, Pappano's book captures the joys and frustrations, passions and challenges of those responding to the unprecedented demands being placed on-and embraced by-turnaround schools.
Laura Pappano is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about education for more than two decades. The author of The Connection Gap (Rutgers University Press, 2001) and coauthor, with Eileen McDonagh, of Playing With the Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal in Sports (Oxford University Press, 2008), she is writer-in-residence at the Wellesley Centers for Women.