|For Immediate Release|
|Friday, June 16, 2000|
|Contact:||Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126|
Four Massachusetts Elementary Schools Highlighted For Reading Successes
Malden - Massachusetts Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll today released a report that highlights four elementary schools in Worcester, Lawrence, Chelsea, and Brookline for their strong success in helping young students to improve their ability to read.
The four schools recognized in the report are: the William H. Lincoln School of Brookline Public Schools; Edgar A. Hooks School of Chelsea Public Schools; the Community Day Charter School of Lawrence; and the Grafton Street School of Worcester Public Schools.
The 13-page monograph, "Improving Student Reading Achievement: Promising Approaches at Four Massachusetts Schools," will be distributed to all elementary school principals as case studies for the ongoing effort to boost early literacy so that all children learn to read independently and well by the third grade.
In visits to the schools, Department of Education staff observed classroom literacy practices that can be replicated. Common characteristics in all four schools show: a principal who provides leadership and support; research-based reading programs; and intensive, ongoing professional development for teachers and aides.
Lieutenant Governor Jane M. Swift and Governor Paul Cellucci have visited both the Community Day Charter and Grafton Street schools.
Lieutenant Governor Swift said, "I felt that the remarkable improvement from one year to the next, particularly for students where English is not their first language, was worthy of note. I recommended to the Commissioner that the Department investigate their success to see if their program could be replicated in other schools."
Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll said, "The four schools highlighted in this report were selected because they reflect many successful reading program elements that are used by other Massachusetts schools, both in very poor urban settings and in more affluent districts. These four case studies are presented to stimulate attention by reading educators, parents, and others on early literacy, and on the possibility of accomplishing extraordinary results, no matter what the background of the children who come to our schools every day."
At the Lincoln School in Brookline, the percentage of students in the Proficient category of the fourth grade MCAS in English Language Arts rose 11 points from 1998 to 1999.
At the Hooks School in Chelsea, there was a six-point drop in the percentage of fourth graders who were in the Failing category in 1999, compared to 1998.
At the Community Day Charter School in Lawrence there were absolutely no students in the pre-reader category of the Grade 3 Iowa Test of Basic Skills, a dramatic improvement from the percentage in 1998.
At the Grafton Street School in Worcester, there was a 12-point drop in the percent of students in the Failing category on the MCAS from 1998 to 1999.