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Axel Norgren

Stefan Arora-Jonsson, Ema Kristina Demir, Axel Norgren, Karl Wennberg.

Research on school improvement has accumulated an extensive list of factors that facilitate turnarounds at underperforming schools. Given that contextual or resource constraints may limit the possibilities of putting all of these factors in place, an important question is what is necessary and sufficient to turn a school around. We use a qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) of 77 Swedish schools studied over 12 years to answer this question. Our core finding is that there is no “silver bullet” solution. There are, instead, several distinct combinations of factors that can enable a turnaround. The local school context is essential for which combinations of factors are necessary and sufficient for school turnaround. We discuss implications for research on school improvement and education policy.

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