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Transforming School Turnaround Leadership Policy and Practice

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest’s School Turnaround Research Alliance, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center), and the Midwest Comprehensive Center are hosting an in-person event designed to actively engage participants in addressing issues regarding hiring, developing, and supporting school turnaround leaders. This event will be geared towards state education agency staff whose work relates to turnaround leader recruitment or professional development.
The event will feature a presentation by Catherine Barbour of GTL Center. Barbour will discuss trends in school turnaround leadership, based on current research and state and district practices, along with implications for state education agencies, local education agencies, and principals. After the presentation, attendees will participate in two working sessions, which will be facilitated by Barbour, Dr. Matthew Clifford of the GTL Center, Dawn Dolby of American Institutes for Research, and Dr. Carlas McCauley of the Center on School Turnaround.

  • One working session will focus on ways to address barriers to recruiting strong candidates, strategies to attract a qualified candidate pool, and effective techniques to gauge a candidate’s potential fit for a turnaround leadership role.
  • The other working session will focus on strategies for building an effective system of support for turnaround leaders, constructive accountability methods, and opportunities to offer high-quality professional development.


  • Trends in school turnaround leadership and implications for state-, district-, and school-level staff
  • Strategies to address challenges in recruiting and hiring effective school turnaround leaders
  • Strategies to address challenges in providing professional development and retaining turnaround leaders

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Cora Goldston at (312) 690-7391 or
Related Resources
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, Center on School Turnaround, Public Impact, and the University of Virginia Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education. (2015). Recruit, select, and support: Turnaround leader competencies. Retrieved from
Doyle, D., & Locke, G. (2014). Lacking leaders: The challenges of principal recruitment, selection, and placement. Washington, DC: Fordham Institute. Retrieved from
Mitgang, L. (2012). The making of the principal: Five lessons in leadership training. New York, NY: The Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from