Analyzing Problems in Schools and School Systems: A Theoretical Approach

By Alan Kibbe Gaynor | Go to book overview

13
The Implementation of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 at the New England School for Special Students*

Joseph Robert Dolan


PART I: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Problem Statement

The Common Core of Learning and the Curriculum Frameworks outline academic standards and expectations for all students attending public schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Teachers and administrators are under pressure from the state department of education to redesign their curricula to include the knowledge and skills standards outlined in these documents. In addition, professional development activities should be tied to the elements of the curriculum frameworks, and schools are required to concentrate 990 hr of school time on instruction in the core academic subjects.

The problem facing teachers and administrators of the New England School for Special Students (NESSS) is that there is a gap between the standards of the profession as defined by the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 and the practices of the NESSS educational program. NESSS students follow a highly individualized educational program because they have severe physical and cognitive limitations. Teachers and administrators of NESSS are attempting to solve this problem and maintain the integrity of their academic program.

____________________
*
This chapter was originally submitted as a term paper for the Advanced Policy Seminar, Department of Administration, Training and Policy Studies, School of Education, Boston University, December, 1996. Names have been altered to protect the identities of the school and key participants.

-171-

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