Anyone been part of a successful, school culture transformation from one that is completely accepting of mediocrity to one that collectively strives for excellence?

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We did at a junior high school I worked at 20 years ago now. We had test scores in the 50’s and turned it around in three years (95% in the tests that “mattered” 85% for the other 2). We became a National Blue Ribbon School. We were a really focused staff: Ruby Payne trainings, targeting students who could take honors classes that weren’t, having tutoring for those students who needed support transitioning into those classes, teaching skills needed for those classes, and continuing to help students who struggled anyway. It was a very positive atmosphere and the turnaround took about 3 years. It’s all about having a common vision, commitment from top administration to *everyone* on campus, and putting students first (providing the support needed to help them learn and achieve). The superintendent at the time encouraged his principals to strive toward such goals; they encouraged us and hired people committed to achieving them. We had several state blue ribbon schools at the elementary level in the districts as well. In the end, our sup. had spent a lot of money to make programs happen to ensure success. He was fired, funding was cut, and schools went back in the other direction. I left to work on my masters. It was a wonderful experience to be part of a school making such changes.


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