At one of the most popular Understanding Boston forums ever held at the Boston Foundation, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang presented and updated his 100 Day Plan for the Boston Public Schools. Some 325 people attended yesterday's forum, including educators, civic leaders, parents and other concerned citizens attended. "It is astonishing how accessible Tommy Chang has been to the people of this city," said Paul S. Grogan, Boston Foundation President and CEO, introducing Dr. Chang. "His 100 Day Plan began with a listening tour, which is emblematic of his entire approach."
Dr. Chang presented his plan and the progress that has been made since it was first unveiled in September of 2015. He framed the plan with eight "Key Values," emphasizing that they emerged from a deep process of listening. Within the Values are goals for students, teachers, facilities and even central office administrators, all informed by a deep listening process. "We shook hands with 1,300 people at 40 events," he said, summarizing his ultimate goal for the Boston Public Schools as successfully creating of a "Culture of We."
Following Dr. Chang's presentation, the Boston Foundation's Senior Director for Education to Career, Elizabeth Pauley, moderated a panel discussion among educators, a teacher and a parent. Several themes emerged, including closing the achievement gap; expanding a program called Advanced Work Class (AWC), which provides an accelerated academic curriculum for students in grades 4, 5 and 6; a greater focus on the social and emotional needs of students, especially those traumatized by violence; high school redesign; and the constraints of limited financial resources for the system. Panelists included John R. Connolly, Executive Director, 1647; Rahn Dorsey, Chief of Education, City of Boston; Audrey Jackson, Teacher, Manning School and 2016 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year; Liliana Mickle, Special Assistant to the Vice Provost, Academic Support Services & Undergraduate Studies, UMass Boston; and Beliza Moriarty, Parent.
"I joke that everyone has an opinion," said Dr. Chang, closing the session. "That's because everyone cares, and that was very evident today. Let's all move forward together as a "Culture of WE."