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For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Contact:Jacqueline Reis 781-338-3115

Patrick Administration Awards $9.15 Million to Support Turnaround Efforts in Six Underperforming Schools

MALDEN - The Patrick Administration today awarded more than $9 million in federal funding to accelerate turnaround efforts in six underperforming schools in Boston, Fall River, New Bedford and Springfield and to build district capacity to support and sustain this work.

Today's award is the fifth round of competitive federal grant funding to support the Commonwealth's efforts to implement school turnaround strategies that will increase student performance in the lowest performing schools. In four prior rounds of funding, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awarded approximately $77 million to 44 schools in 12 districts. Grants in this fifth round averaged $1.5 million over three years. The grants will commence in fall 2014.

"We have made incredible strides in turning around our most underperforming schools," said Governor Deval Patrick. "These grants allow us to bring resources to the table that we know will have an impact on student achievement."

"This is the most difficult work happening in America today," said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. "Massachusetts has so much to be proud of in education, and this turnaround has proven to be yet another example of what is possible when we invest in the right areas."

"We hope that this funding, which is tied to improvement plans, will help schools raise student literacy and numeracy skills," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "We appreciate the work adults have put into these plans and look forward to seeing the results for children."

To apply for the grants, districts were required to develop proposals for funding that would adopt and implement one of four federally-funded redesign models to improve student learning: (1) the Transformation model, which requires increased learning time and new evaluation systems for principals and teachers; (2) the Turnaround model, which requires that at least 50 percent of the staff be new to the school; (3) the Restart model, in which an educational management or charter organization will assume primary responsibility for turning around the school; and (4) the School Closure model.

Nine schools were eligible to apply for the funding awarded today during Round 5. Seven schools applied, six met the criteria, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education distributed all available funds. All six schools are Level 4 ("underperforming") schools under the state's accountability system that classifies schools as Level 1-5. The six schools serve more than 5,700 students, of which 83 percent are low income, 19 percent are English language learners, and 16 percent are students with disabilities.

Following a comprehensive review process that included face-to-face interviews with district and school officials and an assessment of their capacity to do the work necessary to improve student achievement over the next three years, the Department approved six schools for funding. The Department determined the amount of each award based on the size, scope and score of an applicant's school redesign plan.

The following schools received funding in Round 5 (funding amounts are preliminary):

  • Boston: John Winthrop Elementary, Turnaround model, $1,200,000
  • Boston: William Ellery Channing Elementary, Turnaround model, $1,350,000
  • Fall River: Samuel Watson Elementary, Transformation model, $1,300,000
  • New Bedford: New Bedford High School, Turnaround model, $2,400,000
  • Springfield: High School of Science and Technology, Transformation model, $1,500,000
  • Springfield: Milton Bradley Elementary, Transformation model, $1,400,000

"Improving student achievement rates is critical to our children's future and will translate into dividends for our local and national economies," said Congressman Bill Keating, who represents Fall River and New Bedford. "Increased resources in education are always a good investment."

Under Governor Patrick's Achievement Gap Act of 2010, Massachusetts has focused federal and local resources on identifying and improving the state's lowest performing schools.

Last Updated: May 22, 2014
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