Massachusetts take two: Springfield style

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Today NCTQ released a study on the Springfield, Massachusetts school district, our second study in the state. It's a district that, like others across the country, faces many teacher policy challenges. Principals have little say over staffing their schools, evaluations were of little import and tenure is nearly automatic.

But Springfield has one important strength that sets it apart: the Springfield Collaboration for Change. This joint union-district initiative seeks to improve student achievement; locals credit it with creating a healthy working relationship between the district and union, something we have not seen in many districts. While we don't focus much on the relationship between the district and union in our study, sticking instead to the policy outcomes that this relationship produces, the dynamic in Springfield is worth a closer look.

It is a relationship that will be put to the test over the course of the current school year as leaders from both the district and union turn their attention to improving teacher evaluations. At least these leaders will have the backing of not only new state law, but also of many Springfield teachers and principals, who these policies most impact.

For more findings from the report, click here.