Massachusetts has made significant efforts to improve access to high quality early education and care over the past two decades. But significant challenges remain, particularly in the state’s lowest-income communities. Our 2018 Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report looks at how Springfield increased the number of vulnerable students attending preK and improved the quality of early education by creating a partnership between preschool providers. On June 5, we brought the education and business communities of Western Massachusetts together to delve deeper into the success of Springfield’s early education programming.
Making lasting improvements in classrooms, schools, and districts takes a thoughtful and structured approach. You need to have consensus around the problem you are looking to solve and a clear set of goals your team wants to reach. The next step is to choose a strategy, or intervention, that will help you reach your goal. In this crucial element of our Change Management Framework, the key is to look for a solution that has worked for others and customize it for your unique context.
On January 25, we released the fifth annual Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report to a room of nearly 300 state leaders, legislators, educators, and community members. This is an opportunity for the education community to reflect on progress made over the past year and recommit to improving outcomes for all students.
Before any school improvement effort gets underway, those leading the process need to identify the problem they're looking to address. At the surface level, this is as simple as defining who is involved, who will be impacted, and why there is a need to fix or improve the system. But the process can be far more complex. Failing to include teachers' voices or look at the underlying reasons for this problem can lead to an ineffective effort.