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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Schools That Work| Case Study

Cochrane Collegiate Academy

Grades 6-8 | Charlotte, NC

Lessons from a Public School Turnaround

Cochrane Collegiate Academy, once among the lowest-performing middle schools in North Carolina, is rebuilding itself by investing in research-based teaching strategies, enhancing teacher excellence, and fostering strong relationships.

What This School Is Achieving


Once among the worst-performing middle schools in the state, Cochrane has been making great strides by narrowing its achievement gap and doubling student performance in the past three years.

Since 2007, the percentage of students performing at grade level has more than doubled.

The achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their better-off peers has been reduced by 35% (based on those meeting or exceeding state standards in both math and reading).

How They Do It

How to Engage Underperforming Students

How to Engage Underperforming Students

Guided by research, educators at Cochrane Collegiate have homed in on ten top teaching methods, and teachers receive weekly PD to help them implement the practices.

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Twice as Many Students Meet State Standards

Classroom strategies backed by research and ongoing teacher development have helped narrow the achievement gap at this Title I school.


How Principals Can Grow Teacher Excellence

At Cochrane Collegiate Academy, teachers credit their principal with helping them continually improve their practice through effective PD, ongoing support, and mutual trust.

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Resources and Downloads to Improve Student Performance

Educators from Cochrane Collegiate Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, have provided these samples and resources for you to use in your school.

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