Ohio's School Turnaround Evaluation
Project Team: 
Stephane Lavertu, PhD
Associate Professor at The Ohio State University
Key Words: 
school turnaround model
student achievement

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has implemented a number of school turnaround efforts that target the lowest performing schools in the state. One of the primary ways ODE targets low-performing schools is through the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, a federal program which provides money to states via formula, and districts compete for awards. Districts must identify which schools they would like to transform and use one of four established models most appropriate to the school’s needs. ODE also identifies “priority” or “focus” schools under the provisions of Ohio’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Request.

This OERC research project entails estimating the causal impact of districts’ efforts on student educational outcomes. Research will focus on the effects of the interventions and supports provided to schools under the SIG program as well as to schools identified as “priority” or “focus” schools under the ESEA. The analysis will rely primarily on regression discontinuity (RD) designs to estimate student- and school-level effects on student achievement and attainment outcomes, as well as some additional analyses to explore possible explanations for those outcomes. This research will help inform which of the four models best fits the needs of individual schools.