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Boston Consortium Brings Together All K-12 Sectors

Education leaders in Boston today are announcing a new, perhaps first-of-its-kind collaboration among all sectors of K-12 schooling in the city.

Instead of fussing over who serves kids the best, folks from the public, charter, parochial, independent, pilot, and suburban schools that make up the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc., have agreed to work together to figure out what best teaching practices look like and how they might spread those across all the schooling sectors. The leaders have already begun visiting the strongest schools in each of the sectors to poach ideas about establishing a strong school culture that is focused on high achievement.

The group, called the Boston Schoolchildren's Consortium, has been convened by Ellen Guiney, the executive director of the Boston Plan for Excellence, the 25-year-old local education fund that works to improve schooling in the city and is especially known for jointly running the Boston Teacher Residency program with the Boston school system.

Too often, the various sectors of K-12 education have acrimonious relationships, said Katie Bayerl, a spokeswoman for the Boston Plan for Excellence. This consortium, she said, aims to rise above the debates about which sector is better and "learn from each other."

The group, which includes Boston superintendent Carol Johnson and the head of the city's Roman Catholic schools, will aim to establish an agenda for their collaboration in the next few months, Bayerl said.

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