Mark McQuillan says he knows what Connecticut needs to change if it is to improve the education provided to students from impoverished homes: Look to Massachusetts. The former state commissioner of education worked in Massachusetts before coming here, and during this Sunday conversation with The Mirror, he explains why he was unsuccessful in putting Connecticut on the same path that led to Massachusetts’ success.
In Lawrence, a once-booming mill town that Boston Magazine labeled the “City of the Damned” five years ago, schools have shown remarkable improvement since the state intervened in 2011. Last of three stories in a special report.
In both states spending on education has increased greatly over the last 25 years – with one key difference: Massachusetts tied increased state aid to ambitious reforms it credits with spurring remarkable advances in student achievement. Connecticut relied more heavily on local educators to use increased state aid to improve things. Second of three stories in a special report.