Corry & Carlson-Bancroft

Transforming and Turning Around Low-Performing Schools: The Role of Online Learning

Michael Corry, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Angela Carlson-Bancroft, George Washington University, Center for the Advancement of Research in Distance Education, Washington, D.C.


This review of the literature examines online learning as a core strategy for bold, dramatic curricular reform within transformational or turnaround models in improving low-performing K-12 schools. The analysis of the literature in this area found benefits of online learning in transforming and turning around low-performing schools to include: (a) broadening access for all students and providing opportunities for students to recover course credit, (b) the potential to motivate and engage students due to the flexible and self-paced nature of online learning, and (c) providing highly individualized and differentiated environments allowing for personalized learning. As a number of schools and school districts move to online learning, it can be used not only as a curricular reform, but also as a tool to improve student achievement and turning around low-performing schools.


Credit Recovery, Curricular Reform, Low-Performing Schools, Online Learning, Personalized Learning, School Improvement Grant, School Transformation, School Turnaround

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