With a diverse enrollment comprising about 50% Hispanic students, and with almost all of its students’ families confronting economic disadvantage, the Painesville City Local Schools made a sustained commitment to improving student outcomes through use of the Ohio Improvement Process and the materials provided by state and regional organizations. The district’s efforts have yielded improvement in several key areas and have engendered significant positive changes in district structures and culture. However, there is variability in the schools’ use of instructional practices and implementation of initiatives. Despite Painesville’s improvement efforts, the district—reflecting a general trend in Ohio’s public schools—continues to receive low grades on state accountability metrics. Nonetheless, district stakeholders remain enthusiastically invested in the improvement process.
Concerned about the continued decline in accountability scores, educators in the Painesville City Local Schools are trying to figure out what to do next. Some stakeholders advocate implementing one or more additional strategies for improving students’ academic performance. Others believe the district should “stay the course” and wait to see if continuing with the current improvement initiatives will result in improved academic achievement over the long term.
- Which course of action do you support, and why?
- What additional strategies might the district adopt, and how would those strategies contribute to higher achievement?
- Which of the district’s current strategies do you think have the greatest potential to promote improvement?
- Why haven’t these strategies shown clear-cut results so far?