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.