THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
ED REFORM’S FIRST STEPS

Progress underestimated

May 12, 2011

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THE GLOBE is right to promote innovative education models available under the new Patrick administration-led education law. Indeed, I welcome the Globe’s echo of our challenge to school district leaders to out-innovate the competition (“Ed reform sparks turnarounds, but few innovations in year one,’’ May 9). However, you underestimate the Commonwealth’s first- year progress, especially when judged by the standards of Massachusetts charter schools, cousins of the new, in-district innovation schools.

Once created by law, it took two years for the first charter school to operate in Massachusetts. By comparison, two innovation schools opened within nine months of Governor Patrick’s authorization of the new law, and an additional 28 innovation schools have been proposed in less than a year and a half of the law’s existence.

The fact that this volume of activity is both historically substantial and yet just scrapes the surface of what the law is capable of demonstrates the awesome statewide potential of the innovation school model. A more accurate evaluation of year one would say, “Good start for innovation, but don’t let up.’’

Paul Reville
Secretary of education
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Boston