A 2008 independent evaluation of five Turnaround partner schools showed that the schools became calmer and more productive environments, with fewer problem behaviors and higher ratings on the NYC Department of Education Learning Environment Survey. “At the school level, results for schools that participated in the Safe Schools Initiative were overwhelmingly positive. Both quantitative and qualitative data showed that schools that had been in states of profound crisis were functioning better across multiple outcomes.”
Data collected at that time help to illustrate these conclusions:
Schools became calmer and safer:
- 51% decrease in police-reported incidences
- 32% decrease in suspensions
Schools became better places for teachers to teach:
- 77% decline in teacher turnover
- 34% decrease in teacher absences
Over a three to four year intervention period ending in 2009, students in Turnaround for Children’s New York City partner schools showed notable academic gains, as shown by the percentage of students demonstrating at or above grade-level proficiency.
- Math: Students’ math proficiency scores increased from 49 to 82% at the elementary level; and from 24 to 64% at the middle school level.
- English Language Arts: Students’ ELA proficiency scores increased from 47 to 57% at the elementary level; and from 27 to 49% at the middle school level.
In 2010, Turnaround’s schools, along with the vast majority of other New York City schools, saw stagnant or lower test scores because of scoring changes implemented by the State Regents. On the basis of the scale scores, which are more comparable from year to year, Turnaround schools are on par with growth in the NYC averages in math and slightly better in ELA.
Based on all results to date, we continue to improve the design of the Turnaround model and strengthen the mechanisms for whole-school change, including district-level operation, and increasingly systematized universal and targeted strategies to address both behavioral and academic challenges.