Gov. Baker Again Showcases Springfield School Turnaround Program

Oct 6, 2017

Gov. Charlie Baker ( R-MA) and Gov. John Carney (D-DE) greet students at Commerce High School in Springfield. Baker hosted Carney for a tour and briefing on the Empowerment Zone Partnership school turnaround program.
Credit WAMC

    The Republican governor of Massachusetts brought the Democratic governor of Delaware to Springfield Friday to see a school turnaround approach.

    Gov. Charlie Baker hosted Gov. John Carney for a roundtable discussion with educators and students at Commerce High School, one of the members of the Springfield Empowerment Zone Program.

  The three year old effort to turnaround Springfield’s struggling schools by giving greater autonomy to teachers and principals to shape curriculum, schedule the school day, and craft budgets has been embraced by Baker despite a lack of data to show if works or not.

   "If you want people to change and you want them to do something differently, come up with a model that gives them a chance to own it and work collaboratively with their peers," said Baker. " I am pretty bullish on this."

   The Massachusetts Teachers Association opposes legislation that could put the turnaround model in other school districts.