Feds Launch Enhanced Online Learning Community

The U.S. Department of Education has upgraded its School Turnaround Learning Community website.

by Converge Staff / August 20, 2012 0
Screenshot of the School Turnaround Learning Community website. Screenshot of the School Turnaround Learning Community website.

The U.S. Department of Education launched the School Turnaround Learning Community (STLC) — an enhanced version of its online learning community for school turnaround — on Aug. 20. The site now features improved search and chat functions and a user-friendly reorganization of STLC resources and materials.

Other improvements made to the STLC include opening the site to the public by eliminating required registration, and enhanced discussion and chat areas including a new “Ask the Expert” feature. First launched in July 2011, the site offers resources, training, and discussion tools enabling users to share and comment on school turnaround practices and lessons learned.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, the site has more than 4,300 subscribed members, offered over 500 school turnaround resources, and has hosted nearly 60 webinars on various topics including teacher and leader effectiveness, family and community engagement, increased learning time, early learning, and supporting rural and secondary schools.

“Turning around the lowest performing schools is challenging work,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a statement. “Driving the dramatic changes needed in many of our hard-to-serve schools requires states, districts, and schools to collaborate and share promising practices in new ways.

“The enhanced School Turnaround Learning Community can better support this important work by providing an easy-to-use, interactive and public platform for turnaround leaders and community members to connect with peers and learn about effective strategies,” he added.

The STLC is a key element of the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to provide support to state, district, and school leaders working to turn around the nation’s persistently lowest-achieving schools through the School Improvement Grant (SIG).

The SIG program makes funds available to states by formula to help them target the persistently lowest-achieving schools. When a school system applies to a state for SIG funding, it must indicate that it will implement one of four intervention models in each of its persistently lowest-achieving schools, based on school needs. The Department has awarded close to $4.5 billion to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico since the SIG program was redesigned in 2009.