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ERIC Number: EJ930690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun-4
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
Translating Education Reform into Action
Reville, Paul
New England Journal of Higher Education, Jun 2010
A lot of national attention was paid over the past few months to a situation in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where the superintendent took the action of firing all the high school's teachers. What started off as a small story about a labor dispute between the administration and the teachers' union at the high school catapulted into the national education reform debate and had everyone talking from local and state leaders to pundits to the president of the United States. Some suggested it was indicative of the approach needed to reform schools. Other suggested it was a hostile attack on teachers. The author believes that a wholesale, undifferentiated firing of an entire faculty is unlikely to lead to the desired reform outcome of improved education for students. And recent updates to the story, with teachers regaining employment after making concessions on school time and in other areas, only help to illustrate why Massachusetts' approach is more beneficial. Massachusetts is deeply committed right now to turning around underperforming schools via a series of proven strategies and urgent new interventions. As a result: Schools will be restructured. Staffing changes will be made. Superintendents, school committees, principals and teachers will need to recommit themselves to the deep, challenging school turnaround work that lies ahead. However, turnaround work is about more than just personnel changes. The Achievement Gap legislation Gov. Deval Patrick signed in January provides rules, tools and supports for leaders, teachers and students that will empower educators to devise action plans to remedy chronic underperformance. These plans will reflect not only tough decisions in assembling the right team of educators but also the intent to provide school leaders with the flexibility to act directly to improve the quality of teaching while offering more supports including health and human services to students so that they can arrive at school genuinely ready to learn.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts; Rhode Island; United States