One wonders if this turn around at Brockton High would’ve been possible using the weaker national standards that Deval has signed us up for.
The ingredients of such success are no mystery, just scarce as hen’s teeth: Dynamic, focused, sustained leadership. Clear educational goals. A unified team effort. Lots of hard work, including nights and weekends. High aspirations for kids’ success. “Best practices” curriculum and instruction, including serious academic content for students who once would have been tracked into “job skills.” Uniform standards for everybody, even the athletes.
The policy environment played a key role, too. During the period of Brockton High School’s renaissance, Massachusetts was turning itself around educationally at the state level, too, with some of the country’s best and most rigorous standards for students and teachers and a tough-minded “you gotta pass this test or you don’t graduate” accountability system. (Relatively generous per pupil funding, too.)