Budget problems and declining enrollment are forcing officials to make the painful decision to close a number of Boston Public Schools. Sadly, the problem is likely to get worse before it improves.
What should we do about it? In today’s Boston Herald, Pioneer’s Jim Stergios offers a solution that has been available for almost 20 years now– school-based management, or giving school principals more oversight of their budgets.
School-based management works because it empowers principals and teachers to make decisions, not top-down central office bureaucrats. A union-sponsored 2008 survey of 40,000 Massachusetts teachers demonstrates a pressing need to do just that. Less than half the teachers surveyed felt they were engaged in making meaningful decisions; just over half thought they were recognized as educational experts; and less than two-thirds felt entrusted to make decisions about instructional issues.
Today, Boston grapples with the pain of school closures. As enrollment continues to decline, education leaders across Massachusetts will face the same wrenching decisions.