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Boston public schools lose ground on national exam

The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress — popularly known as the Nation’s Report Card and is mandated by Congress — come as the state is conducting its first comprehensive review of the school system in a decade, a move that could result in mandates for changes from state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley.

About The Great Divide


he Globe is launching a two-year initiative to explore the deep inequalities in our public education system, examining both the challenges and possible solutions to creating equal opportunity for all students.

The Great Divide will build on the findings of the Globe's Valedictorians Project in January, which revealed that even the best students in Boston public schools often struggle after high school. An editor and a team of four investigative reporters will examine public education in the region, with humanity and empathy, and with a goal of provoking public discussion and exploring what might be done to fix core issues of inequality, social mobility and economic opportunity.

Partial funding for this initiative is provided by the Barr Foundation, a Boston-based foundation that has made student success in high school and beyond a top priority. We are grateful to Barr for their support and for believing in the power of journalism to deepen public knowledge, inform civic leaders and policy makers, and inspire community-wide discussions on our public schools. The foundation will have no special access to Globe reporters and the Globe will maintain complete editorial control over story selection, reporting, and editing.

The Globe plans to host numerous events to introduce this initiative and the team to the public. In the mean time, we want to hear what you think are the most pressing problems in the public education system and how you think we can solve them. Please send ideas and suggestions to: thegreatdivide@globe.com