Make it Public: Learning from School on the Move

Dr. Lindsa McIntyre, Headmaster, Jeremiah E. Burke High School

The Jeremiah Burke High School is the proud recipient of the 2015 School on the Move Prize. Even two years later, this recognition is meaningful beyond what we could have imagined.

The Prize acknowledges the hard work, dedication and commitment of school leaders that persistently engage the hearts and minds of teachers and students in closing the achievement gap. It speaks to the powerful uncommon good will of educators who work not with slow deliberation, but with agency and urgency to address a challenge that those who have been marginalized are faced with each and every day: an achievement gap, an opportunity gap or simply stated, poor educational and life outcomes. Our school’s efforts have focused addressing the past or ongoing trauma and lack of connection to appropriate social supports by our students that we know impedes academic progress. Receiving the acknowledgement of the Prize brings pride and reinforces the passion that is needed to do this incredible work.

Not only does this Prize help us to feel pride in our achievements; it is also making our pedagogy public. It is keeping us safe from siloes that defeat our efforts to address change. The work around educational reform is difficult and sometimes lonely, but through the Prize we are in a community that is broader than our school and classrooms. By documenting and publishing our promising approaches our achievements are positioned in a way that helps us to build a capacity for others to do the same. By sharing our thoughts, ideas, and best practices, we generate the will for others to be motivated to continue in this work while we also inform policy.

As the only Massachusetts high school to exit from state turnaround status, the Burke continues to see dramatic academic improvements, including more than doubling the rates of student proficiency in math and English Language Arts. We are powered to continue the journey of reform in no small part because of the School on the Move Prize and all it represents.

Read the full Jeremiah E. Burke High School case study here and learn more about School on the Move Prize here.