Can State Receivership Save A Failing Boston School?
The Dever Elementary School in Dorchester has cycled through five principals over the past two school years and is seeking another one. Discipline is a constant problem. Some teachers are fleeing, and many students don’t show up. Most who do perform poorly.
This is not what was supposed to unfold when the state stepped in and took over the school in 2014. Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester had spoken boldly about the need for aggressive change, calling the Dever’s low performance “an injustice” while adding, “I know we can do better.’’
The promised turnaround has not happened — at least not yet — and the troubling picture raises questions about whether state education agencies can do a better job than local districts in lifting up schools stubbornly stuck at the bottom. In the Dever’s case, the state recruited as a receiver a local nonprofit, the Blueprint Schools Network, that had never run a school.