Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools: A Diagnostic Framework and Conceptual Model
Olajide O. Agunloye

Chronically low-performing schools (CLPS) are schools that are persistently unable to meet expected standards of student achievement over a number of repeated assessment cycles. Some of the persistent problems associated with CLPS include, but are not limited to low academic expectation, low attendance rate, high drop-out rate, low graduation rate, high discipline problems, low students and staff morale, low performance in mandated achievement tests, inadequate facilities and resources. Various interventions, sometimes involving drastic reform initiatives, have been and are still being tried to solve this problem with mixed results. The initiatives generally use a one-solution-fits-all approach through the adoption and implementation of one or more specific, pre-packaged, wholesale system reforms. These initiatives often do not take into consideration the uniqueness of the individual CLPS. In this paper, the author proposes a diagnostic conceptual framework and model to turn around CLPS. The author examines why schools become chronically low-performing; builds a conceptual framework of why schools become chronically low-performing; identifies key problem points in school processes that result in low performance; and proposes conceptual model referred to as Domains of School Performance (DoSP), to apply to CLPS to assist in turning them around.

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