How Eight Failing Schools in Chicago Were Turned Around Within Three Years

Chicago Public Schools

Strategic Learning Initiatives (SLI), a Chicago-based nonprofit consulting group, began its work in 2006 with10 high-poverty, low-achieving Chicago elementary schools slated for restructuring or closure. SLI partnered with Davenport Consulting to shape the design and implementation of its new four-year comprehensive school reform model called the Focused Instruction Process (FIP). The FIP model aligns with 8-Steps stressing shared leadership, professional development, and continuous improvement strategies drawn from best practices identified by educational and management research.

As validated by SLI’s 2009 and 2011 report, How Eight Failing Schools in Chicago Were Turned Around Within Three Years, our process improvements resulted in signficant improvements in several areas, including: Eight of ten schools turned around over three school years (2007 through 2009); Six schools sustained their gains; and Two schools had the highest gains on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test of 473 Chicago schools (Cather in 2007 from 36.1 percentage points to 50.5; and Cardenas from 48.8 percentage points to 71.7 in 2008).