Policy Outsider

Episode 11:
Failing Schools: Makeover or Takeover?


On the latest episode of “Policy Outsider,” we explain why so many school turnaround efforts have failed and identify the keys for future success. The episode highlights a recent report from the Institute on school turnaround efforts and features an interview with the report’s author, Brian Backstrom, director of education policy studies at the Institute.

Backstrom lays out the ineffectual fixes policymakers often use. These include keeping current school leadership intact; only providing additional resources; and choosing smaller one-time changes, such as a new curriculum versus an overhaul of the entire school’s academic culture.

The episode also introduces our new host, Alex Morse, a researcher with the Rockefeller Institute, who succeeds Kyle Adams, former Institute communications director. In the first segment of the episode, both Morse and Adams discuss their takeaways from creating and producing the podcast over the past several months.



Kyle Adams, former communications director and podcast host at the Rockefeller Institute of Government

Brian Backstrom, director for education policy studies at the Rockefeller Institute of Government



Policy Outsider

“Policy Outsider” from the Rockefeller Institute of Government takes you outside the halls of power to understand how decisions of law and policy shape our everyday lives.

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