Low performing schools are those identified as in need of specific assistance due to chronic lack of progress towards performance goals. According to U.S. Department of Education data, "There are approximately 5,000 schools in this chronically underperforming category, roughly 5 percent of the total. About half are in big cities, maybe a third are in rural areas, and the rest are in suburbs and medium-sized towns." For all students to be ready for college and careers at high school graduation, it is imperative that these underperforming schools achieve the necessary improvement.
The Low Performing School priority of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) focuses on supporting these schools to improve their performance and their students’ academic achievement. To support this priority ED has created the Center on School Turnaround.