Greater Boston: Education Reform Series

Lectures curated around WGBH Greater Boston's Eye on Education special on Education Reform.

Written into law as The Education Reform Act of 1993, education reform in Massachusetts has antecedents in Webby v. Dukakis, a lawsuit filed in 1978 against the administration of Governor Michael Dukakis. The suit charged that inequities in the funding of public schools deprived students in Massachusetts' poorest communities of the opportunity to receive an adequate education.

A decision came in 1993, when Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court issued a landmark ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. At the core of the decision was the Massachusetts Constitution, which declares "it shall be the duty of the legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this Commonwealth, to cherish the...public schools and grammar schools." While the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state had failed in its mandated duty, the court left the Massachusetts Legislature to remedy the situation.

The remedy came quickly, in the guise of the Education Reform Act of 1993, a comprehensive restructuring of the Massachusetts public education system. Among the Act's provisions were increased state funding for public schools, stricter teacher certification standards, mandated curriculum frameworks, and a requirement that students show competency in the curriculum frameworks before receiving their diplomas.

Lectures curated around WGBH Greater Boston's Eye on Education special on Education Reform.

Written into law as The Education Reform Act of 1993, education reform in Massachusetts has antecedents in Webby v. Dukakis, a lawsuit filed in 1978 against the administration of Governor Michael Dukakis. The suit charged that inequities in the funding of public schools deprived students in Massachusetts' poorest communities of the opportunity to receive an adequate education.

A decision came in 1993, when Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court issued a landmark ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. At the core of the decision was the Massachusetts Constitution, which declares "it shall be the duty of the legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this Commonwealth, to cherish the...public schools and grammar schools." While the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state had failed in its mandated duty, the court left the Massachusetts Legislature to remedy the situation.

The remedy came quickly, in the guise of the Education Reform Act of 1993, a comprehensive restructuring of the Massachusetts public education system. Among the Act's provisions were increased state funding for public schools, stricter teacher certification standards, mandated curriculum frameworks, and a requirement that students show competency in the curriculum frameworks before receiving their diplomas.