A Nostrum of School Reform? Turning Around Reconstituted Urban Texas High Schools

Madlene P. Hamilton, Julian Vasquez Heilig, Barbara L. Pazey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A mainstay in NCLB and the Obama administration education plan is turning around low-performing schools. This study utilized surveys and interviews with school leaders from four turnaround urban high schools in Texas to understand student outcomes before and after school restructuring and reconstitution. Although some organizational changes were apparent; overall, respondents cited rapidly changing technical strategies and haphazard adjustments from external sources as a great challenge. Reconstitution also magnified challenges that existed before and after restructuring efforts. Most importantly, the evidence suggests that school reconstitution did not immediately improve student achievement, impact grade retention and decrease student dropout in the study schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-215
Number of pages34
JournalUrban Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Funding was received from the University of Texas - Education Research Center to partially support work on this project.


  • dropout rates
  • minority academic success
  • social
  • urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies


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