Access the story as it originally appeared in Education Dive.
The Lawrence, MA, district has been in state receivership since 2010. The public schools were taken over because of dismal performance and such poor leadership the superintendent was convicted of corruption. Nearly 40% of students dropped out. One key element in the district’s improvement has been the community-wide buy-in to effect change. The schools haven’t had to do it alone.
Besides taking a cue from Lawrence’s and Denver’s healthy, complementary relationships with high-performing charters, other districts can see how helpful community partners can be. In Denver, a multigenerational approach to serving families has meant curating strong partnerships with funders and social service organizations to offer adults classes in English, financial management, parenting and more. The goal has been to encourage stability within families to spur student achievement and the impact has been tangible.