There is probably no place where a quality school system is needed than in our "gateway cities". These cities were once booming manufacturing hubs that provided gainful employment for those with limited educational attainment. These opportunities were a major drawing card for immigrants who were looking for a chance at achieving the American dream. But now, those jobs are gone and gateway cities are struggling to successfully reinvent themselves.
Obviously education is important and for lots of different reasons. Parents obviously want a quality school system to ensure their children have the type of education that will give them the tools to be successful in life. Communities want a quality educational system because it ensures an educated workforce. It's also a quality that companies look for when they consider whether or not to build or locate in a specific community.
A poll conducted by MassINC Polling Group shows that 83% of voters in gateway cities give their public schools a passing grade of C or better. This despite other indicators, such MCAS scores that show gateway schools are underperforming in several key areas.
Here in Fall River we've been talking about giving our kids a "world class education" for a long time. How close are our schools to hitting that mark?