There are more than 800 schools in Berlin. Many of them are located in socially and economically disadvantaged areas – and face particular challenges as a result. The good news is that this needs not to be an inevitable fate. There are schools in such areas which manage to compensate for their students’ challenges at home and in their neighbourhood and help them graduate career- and college-ready.
But even schools that have a long way to go and are currently underperforming can be turned around. To do so, however, they require special, systematic and continuous support. And this is exactly what the "School Turnaround" project in Berlin seeks to provide.
The turnaround model as one effort for addressing the challenge of underperforming schools is directed toward the clear and long-term goal of improving leadership, management and teaching individually at each school. This is how the school once again becomes an attractive place for learning and achievement. The key to achieving this goal is a coordinated effort of all actors, at school level and at system level.
Project until 2017
The "School Turnaround" project is a joint initiative by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth, and Science. The foundation is supporting the project with a budget of up to 1.5 Million euros. Berlin’s Senate Department for Education, Youth, and Science contributes up to 400,000 euros to the project.
Three elementary schools and seven secondary schools from five different districts in Berlin, as well as the district superintendents, the respective school districts, and the Senate Department for Education, Youth, and Science are all involved at the local level. The project brings together all actors in a network where they can share concerns and perspectives more broadly.
When the pilot in Berlin is completed in mid-2017, we already will have learned how other schools can benefit from the experiences of the ten schools participating in the program, and how they can achieve a turnaround as well.