Alternative Turnaround Model: Get Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett

Baltimore Sun on CEP Report: Fixing Schools Usually Fails.

Of the 76 schools labeled failing for at least five years, only 12, or 16 percent, have improved significantly since 2004, the Center on Education Policy found.

“Even in an advanced state like Maryland, that has tried to deal with these problems for a decade …we just don’t know what to do,” said Jack Jennings, president of CEP.

The most commonly tried solution – bringing in a turnaround specialist – usually doesn’t work.

So if we send a kid today to a failing school with all sorts of nice-sounding plans for improvement, she has an 84% chance of getting precisely that failing school with no improvement.

Any chance to X-Prize this problem?

Has anyone ever tried to send in the turnaround principal specialist plus a Delta Force of perhaps 10 to 20 “turnaround teacher” specialists who already know each other, who know what they’re up against, who can role model what the principal wants so all the teachers row in the same direction, and who can each train a student teacher to replace them?

-Guestblogger MG

3 Replies to “Alternative Turnaround Model: Get Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett”

  1. Why in the world would anyone expect seat-of-the-pants interventions like the “turnaround specialist” to work? Of all the things the U.S. Department of Education hasn’t spent money on since 2001, the most surprising one is the failure to fund research on attempts to help schools.

  2. Most, if not all, of the so-called “failing schools” are located in lead poisoned neighborhoods where children have lost IQ and acquired learning disabilities, adhd, aggression and misbehavior from ingesting lead. See my overview at: for details. There is a reason that the middle class is going bananas over lead in toys: they don’t their kids to have the same problems. Simply put, schools cannot overcome what lead poisoning does, if they could then there wouldn’t be a national crusade to end lead poisoning of children.

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