New Improvement Plan Announced – NBC Boston

The city of Boston and Boston Public Schools have reached an agreement with the state on a plan to improve longstanding issues in the district.

In a report released last month, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said Boston Public Schools is struggling to operate on a basic level and is not addressing “systemic barriers” to equitable education, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The new plan was signed Monday by Mayor Michelle Wu, Boston School Committee Chair Jeri Robinson, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius and DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley.

“The plan includes clear timelines and joint commitments to eliminate systemic barriers to educational opportunity, build the operational capacity to implement systemic change, and support Boston’s students in achieving their full potential,” district spokesperson Gabrielle Farrell said in a statement. “BPS is eager to move forward in continuing this important work, and grateful to our school communities for their partnership throughout our ongoing leadership transition.”

Among the changes outlined in the plan, the city and district said that they would commission an independent audit for student and staff safety by Aug. 15, and that a coordinator of problem resolution would be hired by Sept. 8.

Also regarding safety, Boston and its school district would “begin using an improved, robust system for managing, responding to and resolving complaints from parents and guardians” by Aug. 15, and that it would “respond in a timely manner to complaints” alleging bullying

The plan also addresses special education, transportation, educational facilities, services for English learners and transformation schools.

“DESE, BPS and the City were able to finalize the Systemic Improvement Plan today, and therefore Commissioner Riley will not ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to vote to declare the district underperforming,” Executive Office of Education spokesperson Colleen Quinn said in a statements.

Quinn added that DESE would hire an independent auditor “and provide $10 million in financial support and technical assistance.”

“The department is very pleased that BPS and the City will now move forward to improve the educational experiences for all children in the City of Boston,” Quinn said.

The district has also recently come under fire for what the NAACP described as a lack of representation in the search for a new superintendent.


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