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Our Strategy

Our hope is that one day all children in the United States will attend schools that prepare them for the lives they choose. To fulfill this promise, Turnaround is committed to creating evidence-based tools that work in high-risk settings as well as building awareness for and commitment to broader change.


Tools and Design

We use research and data to develop tools and strategies that raise awareness about the impact of adversity on learning. Our tools for practice promote clear and actionable steps that can be used by any school or district facing the challenges of poverty-related stress.

Turnaround’s Building Blocks for Learning is an example of a tool that shares knowledge and builds awareness. It’s a framework that describes the development of skills and mindsets students need for success in school and beyond.


Proof and Practice

We work directly with high-poverty public schools to establish environments, based on Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), that accelerate student development and academic recovery. In each school, Turnaround creates a student support system, trains teachers and works with school leaders. Through our partnerships in New York City, Newark, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., we are building evidence that our strategies and practices transform struggling schools.

Our metrics and benchmarks measure progress and results to date show notable improvement:

  • 90% of students with intense needs were connected to appropriate services, compared to 21% in other high-poverty schools
  • Trained observers measuring classroom climate and productivity reported more than a 40% increase in the number of teachers rated highly effective
  • Suspensions and serious behavioral incidents declined by more than 40% over the past three years

Systemic Impact

We build awareness about the root causes of chronic under-performance in schools and share insights and tools to help others understand and address the impact of adversity on learning. We know that we can’t do this work alone.

By engaging with and learning from districts, sharing knowledge at thought leadership events, participating in research and practice-based collaborations and arming policymakers with evidence-based insights to influence decisions, Turnaround is creating an effective and sustainable plan for scaling practices, principles and tools.

  • Thought leadership events, such as Aspen Ideas Festival, SXSWedu and NewSchools Summit
  • Media coverage in outlets such as The New York Times, People and The Atlantic
  • Collaborations with researchers and scientists at Harvard and Johns Hopkins University, along with practice and field-based partners
  • Policy initiatives at the city, state and federal levels