Report: Lawrence schools improving under state receivership

BOSTON (AP) — Lawrence public schools have begun turning around since the state placed the system into receivership in 2011.

A report by the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston found that during the first two years of the turnaround, students made larger gains in mathematics than students in other low-income school districts across Massachusetts.

Monday’s report also found gains among students whose first language isn’t English.

One reason for the turnaround is so-called “Acceleration Academies” that provide struggling students with targeted instruction in a single subject over weeklong vacation breaks.

Students who participated in the academies made larger gains in both English and math than those who didn’t participate.

As of 2011, Lawrence enrolled about 13,000 students. Roughly 90 percent were low-income and 80 percent had a first language other than English.