Back from the Brink in Lawrence, MA


A case study of a low-performing school district in Massachusetts shows how a bold vision and a focus on the effective use of resources can lead to big improvements. With support from Carnegie Corporation, Education Resource Strategies (ERS) looks at Lawrence Public Schools—in 2009 it became the first school district to enter into state receivership. Over the course of three years, Lawrence implemented a three-phase plan that led to dramatic improvements and provides a roadmap for other districts that chronically underperform.

In the new report, Back from the Brink, How a Bold Vision and a Focus on Resources Can Drive System Improvement, ERS explains how Lawrence accomplished this transformation through a combination of leadership, structural changes in teaching, district-wide interventions, and better school support. It is part of the nonprofit’s School System 20/20 program that identifies best practices and measures the results that lead to district turnarounds.

Read the executive summary and download a copy of the report. A news report about Lawrence and the case study was published in Education Week.