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Fulfilling the Promise of Education Reform

 

Fullfilling the Promise of Education Reform

Fulfilling the Promise

 Full Report

Fulfilling the Promise of Education Reform makes dozens of recommendations aimed at narrowing the achievement gaps, closing the staffing gaps and reducing the funding gaps. The achievement gaps refer to the lower average academic achievement among low-income, African-American, Hispanic, special needs and English language learner students relative to white and Asian students.

Recommendations include:

  • Offering incentives for experienced teachers to work in high-poverty or hard-to-staff schools.
  • Providing teachers with more opportunities for growth on the job (called career ladders), including more avenues for experienced, qualified teachers to perform mentoring and other educational leadership roles within a school or district.
  • Providing better induction and mentoring programs for new teachers.
  • Offering job-embedded professional development within the teacher work day and year, restoring the $125 per pupil that was formerly allocated for PD, and bargaining schedule changes to give teachers more time during the school day to collaborate and train.
  • Increasing Chapter 70 state aid to local public schools by $610 million over the next three years and establishing an Education Reform Study Commission to determine how much state funding is needed in the long term.
  • Establishing an Independent Professional Standards Board to run the educator licensure system, which is currently under the Department of Education.
  • Creating an Education Reserve Fund so that public schools are protected from significant budget cuts during economic downturns.
  • Expanding the Extended Learning Time grant program to support a combination of extended-day and after-school enrichment programs for students.
  • Replacing the state's centralized school and district inspection system with regional technical assistance staff to help schools that are in need of improvement. 
  • Providing more state aid for early childhood education and full-day kindergarten.

"For our schools to move to new and higher levels of excellence and to narrow the achievement gaps, there must be greater collaboration among classroom educators, administrators and state officials," MTA President Anne Wass said. "For too long now, it has felt like 'us versus them' in Massachusetts. We are hopeful that our new governor will bring a fresh atmosphere of optimism and openness to public education."