News

  • University of Virginia School Turnaround Program Revolutionizes School Performance in Oklahoma and Louisiana
    Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Darden School of Business

    The Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education's partnership with Oklahoma public schools recently spurred new academic gains in an underperforming district. The PLE has driven similar turnarounds in 16 states during the last 10 years and recently entered a new partnership with a Louisiana school district.

    UVA School Turnaround Program Schools See Improvement
    Monday, September 22, 2014
    KFOR
    Three Oklahoma school districts have seen huge improvements in their school report cards after implementing changes through the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program.

    New Mexico Governor Announces Expansion of Participation in the UVA School Turnaround Program
    Thursday, August 28, 2014
    Office of the Governor of New Mexico
    New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announces increased participation in the The University of Virginia (UVA) Turnaround Program. Other schools in New Mexico that have gone through the program have shown significant growth and improvement in student proficiency.

    First Rural Consortium to Participate in the UVA School Turnaround Program
    Monday, April 14, 2014
    Headlight Deming News
    The Southwest Regional Educational Cooperative has formed the very first rural consortium to participate in the University of Virginia School Turnaround Project in partnership with the New Mexico Public Education Department.

    William Robinson Takes The Helm of the U.Va. Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education
    Thursday, December 5, 2013
    The University of Virginia Darden School of Business and Curry School of Education announce the appointment of William Robinson to the role of executive director for the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE).

    UVA School Turnaround Specialist Program Helps Salt Lake City Schools Make the Grade
    Monday, September 30, 2013
    UVA Today
    Children in Utah's low-performing schools are raising their scores, and with continued support from the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education, they are reaching

    Missouri and Ohio Schools Make Significant Improvement Through UVA Turnaround Program
    June 20, 2013
    Curry School of Education

    This study follows 34 elementary and middle schools in Missouri and Ohio throughout the course of their participation in the University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program.

    School Participating in the UVA School Turnaround Specialist Program Significantly Improves Its Scores
    Tuesday, May 22, 2012
    Standard Examiner

    Dee Elementary School in Ogden, Utah has raised its end-of-level test scores by nearly 40 percent and is no longer the worst elementary school in the state.

    Ogden School District Puts UVA Training to Work
    Sunday, May 13, 2012
    Standard Examiner

    The sweeping administrative changes Ogden School District made recently were aimed at getting strong leadership into struggling schools, Superintendent Brad Smith says. And the definition of strong leaders? That came largely from the training district officials have received from the University of Virginia School Turnaround program.

    Local Administrator Named 'Turnaround Specialist'
    Sunday, February 26, 2012
    Daily Dunklin Democrat
    Missouri elementary principal shares her experience with University of Virginia Turnaround Program 

    New Ogden Schools Superintendent Vows to Boost Student Achievement 
    The Salt Lake Tribune 
    Saturday, February 11, 2012 

    Ogden Schools superintendent, Brad Smith, says demographics can’t be an excuse for poor achievement, receives coaching from the University of Virginia’s school turnaround program. 

    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Speaks to Educators in U.Va. School Turnaround Specialist Program 
    Darden School of Business
    Monday, August 1, 2011

    “You are doing some of the toughest, most controversial work in education in this country today, and I thank you for your courage,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the group of principals, state and school district leaders who were gathered for a weeklong event at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. 

    New Mexico School and the PLE Join to Boost Student Scores 
    Cibola Beacon
    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Laguna Acoma Junior/Senior High School has partnered with the University of Virginia and the Southwest Comprehensive Center at WestEd to build the capacity of the school district’s leadership and to improve student academic achievement.

    The Darden/Curry PLE Program Heads to the Far Southwest
    Darden School of Business
    Monday, June 20, 2011

    PLE’s executive director, LeAnn Buntrock, has driven all over the southwestern United States this spring to explore why schools are failing there – including those on the remote Apache reservation of White Mountain in Whiteriver, Arizona 

    Akron Schools Hope To Make Impact 
    Akron News Now
    Thursday, June 9, 2011
    Akron Public Schools is joining the University of Virginia to launch the first phase of the "Impact Network" which is set to improve academic performance.

    Turnaround Principals
    District Administration
    May 2011
    The University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program is a two-year program that helps districts develop and sustain leadership capacity through large-scale organizational changes and principal preparation training. 

    Plan for Thornridge freshmen-only campus a 'political football'
    Chicago Tribune
    Wednesday, March 30, 2011
    Research shows drastic overhauls are needed to reform failing schools, experts say. But if educators don't get the stakeholders on board early, they're bound to face criticism. "Communities often don't embrace the need for reform and don't understand why dramatic change is needed," said William Robinson, who works in the University of Virginia's School Turnaround Specialist Program.

    Turnaround Necessities
    The School Administrator
    March 2011
    Based on the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education's work in 43 school districts, William S. Robinson and Leann M. Buntrock identify the basic conditions for a school turnaround to be effective, sustainable and scalable

    Educators Discuss Academic Improvement
    Daily Dunklin Democrat
    February 18, 2011

    Senath-Hornersville School District has been participating in the University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program, which is an intensive intervention and leadership development program designed to help teachers and administrators improve or "turn around" their failing or under-performing schools. 

    Schooled in Leadership Skills
    Financial Times
    November 7, 2010
    “It’s inspiring for this community that’s been labelled an academic failure for years to finally experience success,” says Laura Mitchell, deputy superintendent of the Cincinnati public school system. The reason behind its success is a program developed by The Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education

    Darden/Curry PLE Helps Cincinnati Turn Around Its Public Schools 
    Darden School of Business 
    September 7, 2010
    The University of Virginia’s Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE) announces that after a year-long partnership with the Cincinnati Public School's Elementary Initiative, the district is showing such unprecedented results that the PLE plans to designate it as a national model for turning around struggling schools. 

    Cincinnati Public Schools “Turnaround Schools” Lift District Performance
    Cincinnati Herald
    August 21, 2010
    Cincinnati Public Schools Elementary Initiative is being touted as a national model for its swift effectiveness at “turning around” schools. In less than two years, 13 of the 16 “Turnaround Schools” have shown measurable improvement in overall performance.

    Cincinnati's Turnaround Schools Show Signs of Success
    Catalyst Ohio
    August 18, 2010
    Thirteen of Cincinnati’s 16 low-performing “Elementary Initiative” schools have made significant academic progress.

    Turnaround Schools Make Big Gains
    Cincinnati Public Schools
    August 16, 2010
    Cincinnati Public School's Elementary Initiative project is showing unprecedented results and getting national attention. 

    Turnaround Schools Lift District Performance, Begin Closing Achievement Gap
    Cincinnati Public Schools
    August 16, 2010
    Six of Cincinnati Public Schools' Turnaround Schools show unprecedented gains, meet federal progress standards and jump one to two categories on Ohio Report Card.

    Darden/Curry PLE Stages a Texas Turnaround  
    Darden School of Business 
    July 2, 2010 
    The state of Texas has invited the PLE to help develop and establish a statewide school turnaround initiative.

    Covering Caruthersville Middle School's Halls With Encouragement
    KAIT
    March 9, 2010 
    For a lot of our students, we're their last chance," said Caruthersville Middle School Principal Matthew Hodges. At Caruthersville Middle School, they're working to help give all their students that chance to succeed. One way they're turning things around is with the University of Virginia's School Turnaround Specialist Program.

    Preparing the Teachers and School Leaders of Tomorrow
    U.S. Department of Education
    February 19, 2010 
    The University of Virginia has established a School Turnaround Specialist Program. As we seek to turn around the nation's bottom one percent of schools each year — the thousand lowest-performing schools — the demand for turnaround specialists is going to continue to expand.

    Cincinnati Public Schools Tries Business Model to Improve Schools
    WCPO
    February 10, 2010
    The Cincinnati Public Schools system is taking some lessons from the business community to improve 16 of its lowest performing campuses. The district has adopted a program that uses business leadership principles to improve student performance. The program originated with the University of Virginia.

    PLE Awards Credentials to Principals  
    Darden School of Business 
    February 8, 2010 
    The Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education awarded “School Turnaround Specialist Credentials” to nine principals from Louisiana and North Dakota during a ceremony held at the Rotunda on January 20. The principals earned this credential by completing all aspects of the two-year program and significantly raising student achievement in schools that had been chronically low-performing.

    Cincinnati's Turnaround Schools to be Potential Model for National Program 
    Catalyst Ohio 
    January 2010 
    In a few years, Cincinnati’s 16 Elementary Initiative schools may serve as a national model for how to successfully implement a turnaround program. The schools are the subject of a case study for the University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program, which works with district administrators and principals who are committed to improving low-performing schools.

    Cleveland Turnaround Initiative Sees Signs of Success in District's Transformation Plan 
    Catalyst Ohio 
    January 2010 
    Assistant Superintendent Laura Purnell, who oversees the turnaround initiative, says the district will eventually need to address how to attract the best teachers and principals to turnaround schools. She and other district officials have been gaining insights on how to do that during ongoing training sessions at the University of Virginia. 

    Darden/Curry Partnership for Education Leads Bermuda Forum 
    BIR Press Release 
    January 15, 2010 
    The Association of Bermuda International Companies will host a forum for business leaders and school leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the island’s educational institutions. 
      
    The discussion will be led by a team invited by ABIC from the University of Virginia’s Partnership for Leaders in Education program. The Partnership for Leaders in Education is a joint initiative of the Darden School of Business and the Curry School of Education at UVA. The program was founded to provide school leaders access to the most advanced thinking in business and education in order to meet the unique demands of managing and governing schools — with a specific emphasis on school turnaround strategies. The UVA team includes Executive Director LeAnn Buntrock, Darden Professor June West, and Researcher Lauren Rhim.

    Quick Wins Put School Success on Fast Track 
    Cincinnati Public Schools 
    December 16, 2009 

    The process of turning a struggling school into one with strong achievement is no easy, overnight task. So, when Cincinnati Public Schools launched its Elementary Initiative, Ready for High School, it was important for the principals of its 16 targeted schools to develop a series of "quick wins" to keep students and staff motivated toward the task at hand — consistently strong academic performance for every child in every classroom. The "quick wins" strategy is a key ingredient of the University of Virginia's School Turnaround Specialist Program, which all the Elementary Initiative principals attended. 

    "The goal of the training is a different mindset," said Shauna Murphy, principal of Woodward Career Technical High School and one of the turnaround coaches assigned to assist Elementary Initiative principals in getting the job done. "We went there looking for them to outline a series of steps for us to take. Instead, we were taught to think and problem-solve, on our own, based on each school's unique needs and characteristics. The 'quick-wins' element helps keep the momentum going."

    Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of Trustees Raising The Bar
    Fort Wayne Daily News 
    December 4, 2009 

    Their involvement in the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE) program allowed board members and administrative staff to be trained in the Balanced-Scorecard system before it was implemented district-wide. The PLE program specifically addresses school leadership toward a core mission, giving board members the opportunity to focus on the corporation's key priorities for improving student achievement.

    Local Educators Attend 'Turnaround' Event 
    The Duncan Democrat
    November 18, 2009 
    Members of South Elementary's Leadership Team met with members from five area schools on Monday, as part of the University of Virginia's School Turnaround Specialist Program. According to South Principal Kim Lowry, South's team consisted of Sue Warrington, Nancy McVey, Tara Pierce, Jennifer Nigut and Gayla Campbell. Lowry said five to seven teachers from each school, including Kennett, Charleston, Hayti, Senath-Hornersville and Caruthersville, attended the meeting, along with members of the University of Virginia, in an effort to discuss plans and obstacles that each district is facing.

    Columbus City's Middle Schools Face Up To Ugly Truths
    The Columbus Dispatch
    November 2, 2009 
    Superintendent Gene Harris sent the middle-grade principals to a school-turnaround boot camp at the University of Virginia in October to start learning how to lead an overhaul.

    LeAnn M. Buntrock Appointed PLE Executive Director  
    Darden School of Business 
    September 10, 2009 
    A University of Virginia program that helps educators improve their schools has a new leader. Darden School of Business Dean Robert Bruner and Curry School of Education Dean Robert Pianta recently announced the appointment of LeAnn Buntrock as Executive Director of the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education.

    Training Turnaround Leaders 
    District Administration 
    September 2009
    Districts wanting to turn around schools without hiring an outside organization are being drawn to the University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program, which equips principals and other administrators with the skills needed to bring about deep change in low-performing schools and provides them with ongoing support.

    School District Staff Attends Turnaround Program
    Daily Dunklin Democrat 
    August 30, 2009
    Members of the Senath-Hornersville School District recently attended a University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program, a program designed to increase teacher leadership and technique. According to Middle School Principal Chad Morgan, he, along with Superintendent Larry Wood, Elementary Principal Kevin Reddick and faculty members Gaylon Orf and Laurie Hoffman attended the turnaround program this past summer. 
     
    Morgan said the program is one of the most comprehensive and well-established turnaround programs in the country. It is the only national program that engages school district and state-level leaders to implement school turnaround initiatives.

    Schools Look To 'Turnaround' 
    Sikeston Standard Democrat 
    August 21, 2009
    After years of not meeting the state's annual test score targets, Charleston R-1 School District, along with a few other select districts, is working to turn around its low-performing schools following a University of Virginia program. "The change will be the impact in the students, giving them the best possible education they can get. That's our job," said Lori Scheeter, principal of Hearnes Elementary in Charleston. 
     
    Charleston is one of five schools in Southeast Missouri asked by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to be a part of the grant-funded project to participate in the University of Virginia's School Turnaround Specialist Program.

    School-Turnaround Call Points Up Challenges 
    Education Week 
    August 12, 2009
    Daniel L. Duke, an education professor with a University of Virginia program that trains school turnaround specialists, said he has found that school closure and wholesale staff replacement are not always necessary. But a new principal is key, he said, and the quality of that leadership is crucial to the practices that will determine a successful turnaround.

    Research Doesn’t Offer Much Guidance on Turnarounds 
    Education Week
    August 4, 2009
    Ever since U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for turning around 5,000 of the nation’s worst-performing schools, the phone has been ringing steadily at the University of Virginia’s School Turnaround Specialist Program. Most of the calls are from educators looking for expert advice on how to go about transforming failing schools into success stories.

    Business and Education Link for Success
    Daily Progress 
    August 2, 2009 
    With surveys showing that so much of the world is catching up to, and surpassing, the American educational system, we cannot afford to give up on troubled schools. Turning them around is a noble cause, and the Partnership for Leaders in Education is a notable part of that cause.

    Caruthersville School Leaders Make Changes With Turnaround Project
    KFVS 
    July 31, 2009 
    Several Heartland education leaders take steps to turn around their schools. Administrators from Caruthersville, Kennett, Hayti, Senath-Hornersville and Charleston recently took a trip to the University of Virgina to participate in a School Turnaround Project. It's all part of a pilot program for underperforming schools in Missouri.

    Duncan’s Call for School Turnarounds Sparks Debate 
    Education Week 
    July 21st, 2009
    "The University of Virginia’s business and education schools run a joint program that trains teams made up of a principal, school staff members, and a district-office “shepherd” to do rapid school turnarounds. It began in Virginia seven years ago, has trained 84 principals and 272 team members, and has expanded to other states and districts."

    Lafayette to use New Tool to Achieve School Goals
    Lafayette Advocate 
    May 29, 2009
    "The district, along with Rapides, Caddo, and the Recovery School District, are piloting the management tool for the state, which is also developing its own scorecard. The districts received training through the University of Virginia’s Executive Leadership Program..."

    Turning Around Public Schools
    Education Next 
    February 06, 2009 
    "University of Virginia’s School Turnaround Specialist Program (is) underway to help more turnaround leaders succeed."

    School Thrives Under Principal's Firm Hand
    Richmond Times Dispatch 
    February 2, 2009
    "Five years ago this summer, Taylor was part of the first class of principals from across the state to participate in a program geared to turning around low-performing schools. The time at the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education was more than a summer fancy."

    Lafayette Schools To Employ Scorecard In Pilot Program
    The Advocate 
    December 6, 2008

    "The Lafayette Parish School System is one of four school districts in the state selected to pilot a new management system designed to make districts more effective in implementing their goals. Lafayette, as well as Caddo, Rapides and the Recovery School District, were selected by the state department of education to participate in the University of Virginia’s Partnership for Leaders in Education’s Executive Leadership Program."

    UVA School Turnaround Specialist Program is a National Finalist
    Pioneer Institute
    June 24, 2008
    The University of Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program is a new and innovative approach to rescuing America’s failing schools by drawing on tried and true strategies from the business world and applying them to the education world. America is the world’s premier business power because of innovation and the ability of business leaders to anticipate and adjust to change, including the ability to revive poorly performing companies. The program has proven that many of the same strategies that have rescued companies from failure can also rescue schools, and their students, from failure. To accomplish this, the program enlists experts from UVA’s Darden School of Business and the Curry School of Education, who bring their knowledge, passion and commitment to the purpose of helping educators make their schools the best they can be.

    Los Lunas Schools Hold Workshop to Write Mission Statement
    Valencia County News Bulletin 
    August 22, 2007
    "Superintendent Walter Gibson, three board members and several administrative leaders spent three days at the Darden-Curry Institute, attending the....leadership training that focuses on leading change, data analysis, setting targets and creating action plans."

    Districts Tracking Goals with ‘Balanced Scorecards’
    Education Week
    February 21, 2007

    "Education department leaders in Delaware and Indiana are getting trained on balanced scorecards through a program run jointly by the business and education schools at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville."

    SFCLF Joins with School Districts to Improve Low-Performing Schools
    South Florida Community Leadership Foundation 
    August 28, 2006

    With the focus on improving consistently low-performing schools by empowering the school system executive leadership with cutting-edge business tools and techniques, the SFCLF, Broward County school district and the PLE have joined forces to launch PLE’s proven and groundbreaking Turnaround Specialist Program. The program provides turnaround specialist principals and their school and district teams with executive development that will support their efforts to dramatically improve student achievement.

    The Wallace Foundation Awards $5 Million Grant to UVA
    University of Virginia
    June 28, 2006 
    "The Wallace Foundation and the University of Virginia jointly announced today the launch of an unprecedented executive training program — drawing on the multiple perspectives of faculty from U.Va.’s graduate schools of education and business — for senior teams of state and district education leaders."

    Unprecedented Executive Training Offered to State and District Education Leaders
    The Wallace Foundation 
    June 28, 2006 

    "The Wallace Foundation awards two $5 million grants to Harvard University and the University of Virginia to draw on perspectives of education, business and public policy."