In February, Bellwether published “An Uneven Path: Student Achievement in Boston Public Schools 2007-2017.” Boston was in the midst of a leadership transition, and we advised the next superintendent to make tough choices in support of equity. Last week, the Boston School Committee chose Dr. Brenda Cassellius, former state superintendent in Minnesota, as the district’s next leader.
Chad Aldeman and I recently spoke to the Boston Herald about the findings in our report, and the challenges Dr. Cassellius will face in her new role:
“Black and Hispanic students have not been making enough progress,” said Chad Aldeman, senior associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit that recently student achievement in Boston Public Schools, “It’s a troubling sign.”
BPS risks losing its status as a national leader in urban K-12 education if it doesn’t launch innovative strategies to address flattening testing scores, the experts added. “If they want Boston to continue to be a stronger-than-average district, they have to focus on black, Hispanic, and low-income students,” said Bonnie O’Keefe, an associate partner with Bellwether Education Partners.
Bellwether board member Paul Reville also weighed in on Boston’s achievement gaps:
“It’s clearly a major challenge for Boston moving forward,” said Harvard Graduate School of Education professor Paul Reville, a former Massachusetts secretary of education. “They still have a long way to go.”