December 12, 2011
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
A class at Holland Elementary School in Dorchester enjoyed the indoor pool.
Holland Principal Jeichael K. Henderson pointed the way toward the lunch room to a group of kindergarteners.
At the Holland school, guitars hung in the soundproof music room.
Despite the amenities, the Holland school struggles to get students to understand reading and math fundamentals.
First-graders Jennifer Frias, Amy Nguyen, and Poker Meas cleaned after eating lunch at their desks at the Perkins Elementary School in South Boston, three miles away from the Holland school.
Despite the lack of amenities, the Perkins Elementary School propels students in early grades to great academic heights on standardized tests.
Barney Brawer became principal of the Perkins school in 2005. The school was under a state mandate to reverse years of dismal academic performance.