Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Study Focuses on Low Performing Urban Schools

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Rochester: Study Focuses on Low Performing Urban Schools
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Educational policy experts at the University of Rochester are continuing a study on how to help low performing urban schools improve.

The five year study is focused on case studies at San Diego Unified School District and the Rochester City School District.

The research will look at organizational learning, social networks, and how relationships and trust can negatively affect staff performance.

The study focuses on how adult to adult behavior impacts students.

U of R Associate Professor Kara Finnigan says preliminary research in phase one of the study shows that low performing schools are isolated from the central office and the exchange of ideas and practices tend to shut down once a low performing school is identified.

"One thing that I think that people are realizing with No Child Left Behind is that we have to move beyond the pressure and blame and try to figure out how to support people within those systems who face really extreme challenges," said Kara Finnigan, University of Rochester Warner School of Education. "One of the hard things in places that are under crisis or under stress is that they tend to close down and not reach out. And what we're finding in our work is that some of these accountability pressures might actually be working against improvement."

Finnigan says the research and findings are shared with each district throughout the study. The William T. Grant Foundation awarded the U of R $560,000 for the study. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP