Tag Archives: Level 4 schools

Worcester’s Level 4 Schools, Union Hill and Chandler Elementary: Moving forward!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

“Turning around persistently low-achieving schools requires a new way of doing the work that is transformative for the students and teachers in the school… the nature of the work demands a new vision for redesigning the schools and how districts support schools in that process. Bold action is required.”
– Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Back in March of 2010 the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced its list of 35 Level 4 schools. A school is deemed “Level 4” if its achievement is in the lowest 4 percent of schools statewide. Two schools in Worcester were on the list: Chandler Elementary and Union Hill School.

The new law, signed by Governor Deval Patrick last January, is designed to close the persistent achievement gap between the schools in poorer communities and those in richer communities. However, as mentioned in previous articles, the idea of closing the achievement gap is a difficult choice, for the administration had a variety of punitive options to choose and the least restrictive was the removal of the principal. Thus, that was what Dr. Boone, Superintendent of Schools in Worcester, chose. The decision was supported by the Worcester School Committee.

At that time Dr. Boone stated, “These schools have worked extremely hard to provide a high-quality of educational opportunities for all the students enrolled there. While significant progress has been made, we acknowledge that the rate of progress has not met the state and federal benchmarks Continue reading Worcester’s Level 4 Schools, Union Hill and Chandler Elementary: Moving forward!

While we’re talking teachers …

By Rosalie Tirella

A fantastic teacher does make a difference in student achievement, and students know who the capable ones are. For instance, once a Worcester Public Schools junior high student told me about his math “problems” the previous school year. He told me he did poorly in math class the year before. This year, however, the year we talked, he was doing really well in math.

He was psyched! This was a student who was poor/disadvantaged.

His reason for achieving? (he gave it to me!) His most excellent math teacher. The boy told me that his new math teacher for that school year, “Mr. Jones,” was excellent – really knew his stuff – knew math – and that his previous math teacher didn’t know as much. And Mr. Jones explained things beautifully. The boy actually said Mr. Jones knows math!

Who was “Mr. Jones”? He was a recent Holy Cross College grad who happened to MAJOR IN MATH! I knew this – Mr. Jones’ student didn’t. Yet the student saw and felt the difference in his teachers.

Mr. Jones ended up in the WPS because he couldn’t decide if he wanted to go to medical school to become a doctor. He needed time to think … . He was intrigued by the idea of teaching kids – and later told me he found it emotionally rewarding.

This is what the WPS need! This is the kind of teacher the NYC charter school I blogged about would hire – and pay $125,000 a year!

The young Mr. Jones (he had graduated from Holy Cross the year before) was way, way way above average. The typical WPS math teacher would not be able to handle majoring in math at Holy Cross. Teachers major in teaching at Worcester State University and other teaching colleges.

But Mr. Jones is exactly the kind of teacher Union Hill and Chandler Elemetary schools need – Our Level 4 Schools.

Give us a 100 Mr. Joneses! Let’s deploy them in our most challenging schools.

Watch our students excell!

I hoope that Mr. Jones is still teaching in the Worcester Public Schools! I hope he decided not to go to med school and become a doctor.

Worcester needed his healing ways …