For Immediate Release - October 16, 2013

GOVERNOR PATRICK VISITS HARRINGTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN LYNN TO CONGRATULATE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ON MCAS SUCCESS

Harrington Elementary one of two Lynn schools exiting Level 4 or “Underperforming” status as a result of this year’s MCAS scores

LYNN – Wednesday, October 16, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today visited E.J. Harrington Elementary School to celebrate the school’s rapid gains in student achievement. The school this year made significant progress on the MCAS exams, which will allow the school to exit Level 4 or “underperforming” status.

"The Harrington school is a tangible example of the success we're are seeing statewide on this year's MCAS exams as a result of the Achievement Gap Act and a renewed sense of commitment from the teachers, administrators and staff here," said Governor Patrick. "I commend school on its most recent success, and continue to hope for a bright future for our schools that are still struggling to reach these results."

14 out of 34 schools across Massachusetts designated as "underperforming" or Level 4 in 2010 exited that status after meeting their three-year turnaround goals. Two, Harrington Elementary and Connery Elementary, of the 14 are located in Lynn.

"We have seen great progress in our underperforming schools and the children of Massachusetts are benefitting," said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. "Lynn is a great example of what can be done if we use a thoughtful approach to school turnaround work. I commend the teachers, school leaders and staff in Lynn for their hard work which is paying off."

“Our teachers and school staff have worked tirelessly to accelerate student achievement, both here at the Harrington School and at the Connery School,” said Superintendent Dr. Catherine Latham. “I’m proud Governor Patrick has come to see what is happening in Lynn and I hope he leaves with a new perspective sense of what is possible in public education.”

Governor Patrick’s landmark Achievement Gap Act of 2010 provided the necessary framework and tools in the state's most persistently low performing schools to support the accelerated improvement of student achievement and a high-functioning learning environment for students within three years. Level 4 schools are both low performing on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) over a four-year period and not showing signs of substantial improvement over that time. Schools designated as Level 4 must develop a turnaround plan for the school and are eligible to receive federal School Redesign Grant funds.

The 14 schools, including Harrington Elementary School, named underperforming in 2010 that are now exiting Level 4 have successfully met their individual measurable, annual goals over the past three years by increasing student achievement and showing significant progress in implementing conditions at the school and district level for continuing to accelerate improvement.

At the Harrington School students, teachers and staff exceeded their annual accountability goals and made significant gains in student achievement. The most impressive gains are in their 4th grade English Language Arts (ELA) scores. From 2010 to 2013, the percentage of 4th grade students scoring proficient or advanced on the MCAS test has increased 28 points.  

As part of his visit, Governor Patrick celebrated the 10th anniversary of the school’s Harrington Reads program. The initiative brings adults in the community from various fields into the school to read to students with a goal of inspiring students through reading. Governor Patrick read to students before taking a tour of the school.

“The Harrington Reads program is proof that when students and teachers have the support of not only their school, but also the entire community, great results can occur,” said Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. “We are grateful for all those who have made this program a success. We also are extremely proud of the hard work of everyone at Harrington who contributed to the school being removed from level 4 status.”

“It is great to have the Governor in Lynn to recognize the amazing progress being made at Harrington Elementary School,” said Senator Thomas McGee. “The school has done an outstanding job improving childhood literacy through library improvements and involving the entire Lynn community. We are very proud of all the faculty, parents, families and students whose hard work have made this possible.”

“I am extremely proud to honor the Harrington Elementary School today,” said Representative Lori Ehrlich. “The school’s improvement is another example of the outstanding work done by parents, teachers, administrators and students in Lynn. Educational excellence requires a community effort, and Harrington Reads has been instrumental in making sure all students have an opportunity to succeed.”

“I know that Governor Patrick saw first-hand the energy and enthusiasm of the young students at the Harrington Elementary school during his visit, and was able to witness the incredible accomplishments and great strides that have been made by the faculty and students to lift the school out of an underperforming status," said Representative Robert Fennell. "I also appreciated the fact that the Governor took some time out of his busy schedule to interact and read to the students, and answer the many questions they had about state government”

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