NEW BEDFORD- In 2013 the New Bedford schools were on the verge of receivership, meaning the state was considering taking over control of the district. Since then, a report of the school district's progress has been released quarterly. This past report reflecting August-November says the district has shown marked improvement.
"This is a real milestone for the school district. Coming from in 2013 a place where we were being considered for receivership and now being considered that the monitoring may be greatly reduced by the commission of education," says Superintendent Pia Dunkirk.
Part of what made this quarter's report significant is that for the first time the school system was able to set its own goals or "accelerated improvement plans", without the help of a separate manager mandated by the state. Because of that the city has gotten more money to put back into the schools in other ways.
"That was a cost of $150,000 so we were now able to put that towards hiring more reading specialists, making sure we have the right curriculum, ensuring we have the right professional development," adds Durkin.
"What they are seeing in our classrooms is much more solid instruction, much more orderly place in all of our classrooms and a school district that is really getting its feet underneath it," says New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.
Durkin and Mayor Jon Mitchell say while they have made progress they still have a ways to go.
"There are so many needs in this school district that we cannot for a minute relax and say we are even close to finishing this reform agenda," says Durkin.