Turnaround Reform Efforts in a Rural Context: How Community and Culture Impart Change

Ian Mette


This article furthers research on the necessary components of what supports successful school turnaround, and also explores how and why two rural schools taking part in a Midwest State Turnaround School Project were successful in implementing school turnaround policy. Perceptions of building principals, district administrators, and regional support staff implementing turnaround policy were considered. Data were collected from 13 participants and analyses focused on the culture created and leadership provided by two rural school districts during the State Turnaround Schools Project implementation. Previous research has detailed district communication, district support of the turnaround principal, and shared leadership as important factors. However this article explores how and why the two participating rural school districts were successful implementing school turnaround and identifies the cultural and community conditions that support school turnaround in a rural setting.


turnaround schools; school turnaround; school reform; accountability policy; rural turnaround


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