CEPR Faculty Director Thomas Kane shares his vision for the future of Massachusetts education reform, reflecting how innovation and improvement are best led by educators, in the following Commonwealth Magazine op ed.
ON THIS 25TH ANNIVERSARY of the Education Reform Act of 1993, the education reform effort in Massachusetts is divided, exhausted and directionless. Given the unrelenting pressure from global competition and the large gaps in achievement which remain, our leaders must find a way to rejuvenate improvement efforts. However, given the divisions among us, we should stay clear of any single “big-idea” policy initiative – such as raising the charter cap or creating new teacher evaluations; rather, we need to recognize that innovation and improvement are best led by those closest to the work: teachers, principals, and local district leaders.
We need to create more opportunities for local change-makers to rally support for their ideas and to get the funding to test them. Moreover, those opportunities need to be provided every year, and not just as a one-time gesture. Here’s a three-part proposal to do so, with safeguards to ensure that state dollars are paying off for children: