Harvard selects Providence for school reform initiative

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence is among six cities that have been tapped to participate in a multi-year initiative aimed at improving educational outcomes for economically disadvantaged children.

The program, called “By All Means: Redesigning Education to Restore Opportunity,” was created by the Harvard Graduate School of Education last year. The goal is to “design an integrated, comprehensive set of systems for education and child development,” according to a press release from the school.

Other members of the consortium include Oakland, California and Louisville, Kentucky as well as three Massachusetts cities: Salem, Somerville and Newton.

“I want Providence to be on the cutting edge and to be a national leader in 12-month learning,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said in a statement. “By being creative and collaborative, I believe we can dramatically improve education outcomes. I am excited to work with the Education Redesign Lab and with national education leaders who also believe that this is possible.”

The program, which does not come with any grant funding, will seek to establish a set of best practices for working with municipal agencies and community-based organizations. Details on Providence’s specific role in the program were unavailable Tuesday.

Harvard is expected to hold five conferences over the next two years to bring policymakers from each community together to “re-envision public education and its governance.” Topics for the series include: Poverty Matters: Making the Case for a System Overhaul; Redesigning Teaching and Learning; Redesigning for Children’s Well-Being; Redesigning for Students’ Access to Enrichment; and Tackling Issues of Implementation and Governance.

“As a teacher and a principal, I saw so many kids whose lives have been changed for the better or the worse by their experience in the public schools,” Chris Maher, interim superintendent of Providence schools, said in a statement. “We have a serious responsibility to our students, and we are committed to a culture of change and innovation to help us better meet that responsibility.”

Continue the discussion on Facebook

Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan

Comments are closed.