How Massachusetts Schools Went From The Middle Of The Pack To First Place. And why Kenya should emulate.

posted Apr 26, 2016, 10:40 PM by Maurice Nyamoti   [ updated Apr 26, 2016, 10:41 PM ]

How Massachusetts Schools Went From The Middle Of The Pack To First Place
Imagine this: Not that long ago, in the 1970s and ‘80s, Massachusetts’ public schools were considered mediocre by many standards. Today, the state’s school system ranks among the best in the world.

What happened?

Magic.

So said Republican Governor William Weld, in 1993, after he signed a landmark effort to overhaul how the state pays for its schools.

“Of all the gifts within our purview, a good education in a safe environment is the magic wand that brings opportunity,” Weld said. “It’s up to us to make sure that wand is waved over every cradle.”

To do that, Massachusetts poured state money into districts that educated lots of low-income kids, many of which also struggled to raise funds through local property taxes. This windfall allowed poorer districts to hire and keep good teachers, give them better training and improve curriculum in the classroom.

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