22 Sep 2015
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Turning Troubled Schools into High-Achievers


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Through UP Education Network, founder Scott Given (MBA 2010) is helping to turn around chronically underperforming Massachusetts schools by making and managing significant changes in all areas, from curriculum and schedules to personnel and expectations.

In this video, Givens talks about the process of transforming troubled schools—and the net results.

“I founded and now run an organization, a nonprofit called UP Education Network. We are an organization that focuses on turning around the most chronically underperforming district schools in the state of Massachusetts. Today, we operate five schools. All of them were among the lowest-performing schools in the state of Massachusetts and all of those schools are high-performing today.

“I am always thinking about the many ways that we can improve as an organization, and there are certainly so many of those. However, I can also point to lots of stories of success. If I think about one of our turnaround schools, before we intervened at that school, only about 12 or 13 percent of students were demonstrating grade-level proficiency in mathematics and in reading. We were asked to come in and begin managing the school. We made significant changes to the program, to the expectations, to the curriculum, to the schedule, to the personnel. But we made sure that all of the students remained the same. Just one year later, nearly 50 percent of students were demonstrating proficiency in English and more than 60 percent of students were demonstrating grade level proficiency in mathematics. And it really said to us, this is possible. We can take these schools, even if they are deeply underperforming today, and by making these changes and working with a great team, these students can have access to a great education right away.

“When I think about my own education in K-12, I know that I am really fortunate to have received an excellent education. So really, when I wake up every day today, I want to make sure that every single child in the city of Boston and in the state of Massachusetts has access to that same education, so that they can have the same opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to have in my own life.”

(Published September 2015)

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2010, Section G
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