School Turnaround AmeriCorps National Evaluation: Final Evaluation Report

Program/Intervention: 
School Turnaround AmeriCorps Grant Program
Implementing Organization: 
13 Grantee Programs
Intermediary(s): 
CNCS/DOE
Summary: 

The School Turnaround AmeriCorps grant program, launched in school year 2013–14, is a joint initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education. The grants provide support to help low-performing schools achieve their school improvement goals by placing AmeriCorps members in schools.

The School Turnaround AmeriCorps program is intended to increase the capacity of these lowest-achieving schools to implement their turnaround models successfully, primarily through efforts to improve students’ academic performance, academic engagement, attendance, high school graduation rates, and college readiness.

This implementation study of the program found that:

  • Programs’ focus on communication and relationship building with school stakeholders helps build program buy-in, increase program understanding, and ease challenges inherent in serving in low-performing schools, such as high turnover of school leaders and staff.
  • Programs ensure member quality and consistency by improving member recruitment and retention, providing specialized member training and preparation, and providing on-site supervision and support.

Members effectively deliver school-based services by establishing trusting relationships with students, maintaining a consistent presence to aid with classroom management, collaborating with teachers to review student data and target supports to students’ needs, and being flexible in meeting schools’ needs.

CNCS Program(s): 
AmeriCorps State and National
CNCS Focus Area(s): 
Capacity Building
Education
Age(s) Studied: 
6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
Focus Population(s)/Community(s): 
Schools
Outcomes Category(s): 
K-12 Success
Study Type(s): 
Case Study or Descriptive
Implementation
Study Design(s): 
Non-Experimental
Evaluator: 
Abt Associates
Year Published: 
2016
Date Posted Online: 
August 19, 2016
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