Here's Why the Massachusetts Public School System is Widely Regarded as the Best

by ParentCo. May 23, 2016

Massachusetts is widely seen as having the best school system in the country: Just 2 percent of its high-schoolers drop out, for example, and its students’ math and reading scores rank No. 1 nationally. It even performs toward the top on international education indices. The Massachusetts experiment with transforming public education traces back to 1993, when state leaders decided to set high standards, establish a stringent accountability system aimed at ensuring that students from all backgrounds were making progress, and open its doors to charter schools. And despite some hiccups, it was able to do so largely without all the partisan wrangling and interagency tensions that have notoriously confounded such efforts on a national scale. Still, as Hardin Coleman, the dean of Boston University’s School of Education, stressed to the audience, the reason the state has struggled to achieve wholesale improvement has to do with phenomena that exist outside the classroom. Echoing national trends, the school system is homing in on how childhood trauma can undermine achievement and developing means for helping kids cope with it. In fact, the district recently received a $1.6 million federal grant to address the early symptoms of trauma in students. Trauma is one of the many barriers, Tommy Chang said, that keep disadvantaged students behind. So are things like a lack of access among many low-income families to jobs that pay a living wage and quality health care. Dental disease, for instance, is one of the most common reasons kids miss school.
Source: What Makes the Massachusetts Public School System So Successful? - The Atlantic



ParentCo.

Author



Also in Conversations

children playing with educational toys
4 Ways to Help Preschoolers Learn to Get Along

by Joy Turner

Continue Reading

two people playing with a dreidel
Our Family Is Interfaith and Better for It

by ParentCo.

Each new experience and tradition we shared with one another went off without a hitch. In fact, we soon learned our differences as a Jewish man and a Irish Catholic woman actually helped to bring us closer.

Continue Reading

family reading a book together
How Wordless Books Can Help Your Kid Learn to Read

by ParentCo.

Wordless books can be enjoyed by readers of all ages and can help develop a taste for reading for pleasure and delight in illustration.

Continue Reading