In the first of a series, Lessons From Next Door, Connecticut Mirror Reporter Jacqueline Rabe Thomas explains “The differing approaches to removing principals is just one of many areas where Massachusetts’ lawmakers have regularly taken bold action–or enabled local districts to–while Connecticut has been timid. It has shown in the outcomes for students from low-income families for years. Massachusetts over the last 20 years has moved to the top of the national rankings for achievement by students from low-income families while Connecticut has lagged.”
… Part of Massachusetts’ success stemmed from a “Grand Bargain” that annually infused hundreds of millions of additional state dollars into local school districts–predominantly those in poor communities. In return, the state took significant steps to bolster accountability when schools failed to improve with the new resources. Among them were:
— Setting higher expectations for what students should know as shown on standardized tests.
— Requiring students to demonstrate on a state test that they have mastered a certain body of knowledge required to receive a high school diploma.
— Giving local school officials more power to improve their own schools and then intervening with more authority when districts fall far short, including by changing leadership, overriding union contracts and temporarily superseding the local school board.
Full story here.