letters | encouraging new ways to teach

Mass. law spurs changes in schools

IN RESPONSE to Robert Guen’s letter (“If schools were free to innovate, there could be more success stories,” Feb. 7), I write with welcome news. Innovation is happening in our schools across Massachusetts. Four years ago Governor Deval Patrick signed into law “An Act Relative to the Achievement Gap.” A key component of this law gives local leaders the ability to transform education in their communities by opening pioneering, new Innovation Schools.

Today, through investments made by the state, private philanthropies, and federal Race to the Top dollars, 46 Innovation Schools in 25 school districts serve 17,000 students. Innovation Schools have empowered those in the field to become engaged in problem solving locally and to better meet the needs of students.

Schools are re-thinking how to engage and inspire students. They are extending the school day and adding more enrichment opportunities for students.

Matthew H. Malone


The writer is Massachusetts secretary of education.