More than 950,000 kids are going back to public schools across the Com­mon­wealth. The majority of them will be in school dis­tricts that rank among the best in the nation and they will ben­efit from another year of quality edu­ca­tion from some of the most ded­i­cated teachers any­where. For others, how­ever, par­tic­u­larly in low income school dis­tricts, another year of school will leave them fur­ther and fur­ther behind their better-​​off peers. While many of these schools are working hard to close the schooling gap that will oth­er­wise leave Mass­a­chu­setts with even greater income and wealth inequality in the future, there is a new approach ded­i­cated to making these schools out­standing as well.

With sup­port from the Boston Foun­da­tion, the Gates Foun­da­tion, and the Mass­a­chu­setts Depart­ment of Ele­men­tary and Sec­ondary Edu­ca­tion, a year ago we helped create the Mass­a­chu­setts Edu­ca­tion Part­ner­ship. The Part­ner­ship brings together the state’s two teacher unions, the state asso­ci­a­tions of school com­mit­tees and school super­in­ten­dents, and four edu­ca­tion and research insti­tu­tions— UMass-​​Boston, North­eastern, MIT, and the Rennie Center for Edu­ca­tion Research and Policy. MEP’s mis­sion is to work with teachers, unions, and school offi­cials at the school dis­trict level to col­lab­o­ra­tively design and imple­ment sys­temic changes in prac­tice needed to advance stu­dent achievement.


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