MALDEN (CBS) – The state of Massachusetts will take over the troubled Lawrence public school system.

It’s the first time the Commonwealth has taken over a school district for academic reasons.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted Tuesday to designate Lawrence a “chronically underperforming” district.

The vote allows state education commissioner Mitchell Chester to appoint a receiver for the district.

That receiver, an individual or a non-profit group, will have all the powers of the superintendent and school committee and will report directly to the commissioner.

“If I’m a parent there, I see good things coming the way of my children because the board has taken the strong action they’ve taken today,” Education Secretary Paul Reville told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

A recent review described the district as chronically underperforming, with ineffective leadership and governance.

According to the state Department of Education, less than half of Lawrence’s students graduate from high school within four years.

That’s the lowest graduation rate of any non-charter district in the state.

Chester is expected to name a receiver in the next two weeks, with the goal that the receiver will take over in January.

The state has taken over the Chelsea and Holyoke school districts in the past, but both were due to fiscal constraints.

Comments (4)
  1. sullyinma says:

    Can the state take over the mayors office while they’re at it? The current buffoon sitting in the office is useless!

  2. Kevin says:

    Illegal immigration in Lawrence = “chronically underperforming”. Can’t speak English, only here to get free housing, food, electricity. Why bother getting an education and graduating when you have idiots like me that will work and pay taxes to support this. Nikki Tsongas, our wonderful US Congresswoman for the district, should be so proud. More dumb, illegals to vote for her so she can give more free stuff to them. The truth hurts. I can’t wait to leave Massachusetts – the liberal armpit of the US.

  3. FireGuyFrank says:

    And the reason a student fails to graduate high school in four years is because of the teachers; principals; school committee?

    OR, maybe there is something else causing it. If so, not even Wes Welker as Receiver will change the stats.

  4. indiemusicgirl says:

    My cousin teaches at one of the high schools and the problem starts at the home level. She’s lucky if 1/2 her class even shows up for school and a good amount of parents don’t want to be involved. Then she has to deal with the violence and gang threats. And when she tries to explain to them how important an education is so you can support yourself, these kids tell her the state will take care of them like they do now so they don’t need an education. And new governance is going to change any of this? The state is just kidding itself.

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