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TNTP Re-imagine Teaching

Greenhouse Schools in Boston

School Leadership Practices Across a High-Performing Charter Sector

February 24, 2015

Boston’s public charter school sector has received national attention for student performance. But what makes the schools so effective?

Independent studies have found that Boston charter school students, on the whole, are learning at much faster rates than their peers in charter schools across the country. We think the reason may lie in school leadership practices focused on creating environments that promote quality instruction.

In Greenhouse Schools in Boston, we partnered with NewSchools Venture Fund to compare Boston charter schools with more than 200 charter schools across the country, and explore what they do differently. In the Boston charter schools we studied, we found school leaders focused on four key practices to ensure student results:

  1. Consistent learning environments that enable a focus on student growth
  2. Teacher development through observation, feedback and peer modeling
  3. Early hiring with a high bar
  4. Right responses to good (and bad) performance

Boston’s success with students isn’t good luck. School leaders are making smart, strategic choices that create school environments where teachers can do their best work—and providing a model for school leaders nationwide.