Education A State Capitals Roundup

Mass. Gets Mixed Review on Handling Failing Schools

By John Gehring — May 03, 2005 1 min read

Massachusetts is doing a better job identifying failing schools than it is helping them improve, a report contends.

The 57-page report, “Reaching Capacity: A Blueprint for the State Role in Improving Low-Performing Schools and Districts,” was released April 22 by the Boston-based Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy at Massinc, a public-policy think tank.

While Massachusetts over the past decade has more than doubled funding to school districts and received high national marks for its academic standards, the report argues that the state needs to provide more curriculum guidance for local districts; professional development for teachers; help districts with data analysis of state test results; and step up efforts to cultivate strong district leaders.

Researchers drew on national and international data and interviewed more than 50 principals, superintendents, and department of education officials in the state for the report, which is available online at