October 11th, 2006

WATCH: The Turnaround Specialist, Part 4

In part 4 of our serial coverage, the verdict on Land’s year and the surprising conclusion of “Turnaround Specialist”.

“Turnaround Specialist,” is the dramatic story of one man’s effort to fix a failing middle school in Richmond, Virginia. Parke Land is one of two dozen veteran public school principals selected for two weeks of business school training and then assigned to some of the state’s toughest schools.

When Parke Land signed up to become a “Turnaround Specialist” in Virginia’s highly-touted school reform program, he promised to transform Boushall Middle School, the troubled school to which he was assigned. Land envisioned turning Boushall into a school full of joy and, by year’s end, predicted passing scores on Virginia’s state test. Were Land’s promises fulfilled and his visions realized?

Download transcript (PDF)

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What has happened to Boushell since 2006? How have things gone for Parke Land at the high school that has Boushell as one of its feeder schools? What at the parents doing at these schools?

I’ve been wondering the same thing Jay, but when I tried to contact Parke at George Wythe HS where he was transferred my email was returned. Searching the internet I found the following: Wythe principal out
February 27, 2008
Monday’s T-D reported on George Wythe principal Parke Land’s resignation. “Health reasons” was the cited cause of Land’s resignation, but murmurs from within RPS suggest the 87 police calls to the school this year (including 2 for fights last week)…

We had been told previously that Boushall was slated to be closed, but again, a quick search on the internet finds the school still in operation. I don’t know how well students are performing, but the school did meet AYP guidelines last year.

Yes! There was a change at that school. The environment changed which made students (and teachers) feel more comfortable at school. Since academic change does not happen overnight, I believe it was only a matter of time for them to pass the state test!

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