Skip to main content

School Interventions That Work: Targeted Support for Low-Performing Students


As state, district, and school leaders begin work under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to identify and intervene in low-performing schools and among under-achieving groups of students, this report offers action steps and research-backed solutions to guide their work.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), states and districts chose from a handful of school interventions approved by the U.S. Department of Education. ESSA, which replaced NCLB, grants states and districts much more flexibility, stipulating that states must identify schools for improvement based on the performance of all students as well as individual groups of students, but it largely leaves the type of intervention up to schools and districts.

This report breaks out key steps in the school identification and improvement process, focusing on (1) a diagnosis of school needs; (2) a plan to improve schools; and (3) evidenced-based interventions that work.