Boston Public Schools, Office of Human Capital
About the Boston Public Schools:
As the birthplace of public education in this nation, the Boston Public Schools is committed to transforming the lives of all children through exemplary teaching in a world-class system of innovative, welcoming schools. We partner with the community, families, and students to develop in every learner the knowledge, skill, and character to excel in college, career, and life.
Our responsibility is to ensure every child has great teachers and great school leaders. In the Boston Public Schools we tailor instruction to meet the individual needs of every student. Together, we are:
- Strengthening teaching and school leadership;
- Replicating success and turning around low- performing schools;
- Deepening partnerships with parents, students, and the communit;
- Redesigning district services for effectiveness, efficiency, and equity.
By securing new flexibilities and resources, we have intervened in our lowest-performing schools, many of which are showing greater growth than the district average. By partnering with community organizations and expanding grant opportunities, we have expanded science, arts, athletics and doubled summer learning opportunities to end the cycle of summer learning loss.
Federal stimulus dollars allowed us to create Parent University, one of the first in the nation, to deepen the home-school connection. We have increased the number of schools serving students with disabilities with inclusive settings from four to 26 and are moving toward inclusive settings in every school. Investments in teacher training and stronger assessments have enhanced our ability to serve English Language Learners, who in 2013 saw a graduation rate increase of over seven percent.
Today we remain focused on ensuring every school is one that any parent would be happy to choose.
About the Office of Human Capital
The Office of Human Capital is dedicated to providing an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school, every day. The Office of Human Capital will create a workforce reflective of our students’ racial, cultural, and linguistic heritage.
An internship with the Boston Public Schools Office of Human Capital offers valuable work experience in local education policy and administration. Interns and fellows in the Office of Human Capital have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the Office’s mission to create a workforce of effective educators reflective of the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity in our student population.
The intern in the Office of Human Capital will be exposed to the policy research, development, and implementation process in an office achieving strategic transformation in a large, urban public school district. The intern will have the opportunity to work on projects focusing on:
- policy analysis and evaluation;
- performance evaluation;
- teacher tenure;
- compensation reform;
- educator licensure reform;
- strategy and communications;
- community outreach;
- intergovernmental relations;
- legislative affairs;
- new media; and,
- labor relations.
2016 Intern Reflection:
Interning for the Boston Public Schools Office of Human Capital has given me invaluable experience about the day-to-day operation and management of teachers from a school district perspective. My work this summer has centered on the new pipeline teacher program, the BPS Teaching Fellowship. This program is training its first cohort in summer schools, combining sessions on pedagogy with in-classroom practice in Extended School Year BPS summer classrooms. Providing logistical support for day-to-day operations, I have collaborated on the interactive database of Fellows’ resumes and cover letters to which Principals and school hiring committees will refer when searching to employ Fellows; evaluated and provided feedback on Fellows’ online coursework; and put together resources and guides for many facets of the hiring and licensure process.
In addition, I have been assigned a research project on cultural proficiency indicators and modes of assessment for the BPS Teaching Fellowship evaluation rubric. The BPS Teaching Fellowship strives to provide high-quality teachers to Special Education and English as a Second Language classrooms in BPS schools, requiring that Fellows are evaluated weekly during summer school. Their progress in summer school will enable them to continue as full-time teachers this fall. Important to this work is the alignment of teaching practices with the BPS Core Competencies outlined on the Teacher Evaluation Rubric. My research centers on developing concrete classroom indicators for culturally proficient teaching that the BPS Teaching Fellowship effectiveness coaches can use when evaluating progress this summer and throughout the year. I have presented my preliminary research findings to the leadership team and the Fellowship coaches and instructors who will be evaluating our aspiring teachers this summer and am in the process of collecting data from summer school classrooms that will tailor my research to the specific needs of this cohort of BPS Teaching Fellows.
I am inspired continuously by the tireless dedication of my team and of the BPS Office of Human Capital employees with whom I’ve interacted thus far. I have no doubt that their efforts have and will continue to have measurable impacts on the academic and personal success of students in Boston Public Schools. Learning more about the logistical and district-level work that goes into running schools has given me a new perspective on education reform and its progress in schools.
Caroline Murphy '17
2015 Intern Reflection:
My time with the Boston Public School system’s Office of Human Capital has been engaging, challenging, and uniquely informative: in short, everything that I wanted from a summer internship. My role at BPS has centered primarily on the issue of teacher placement, specifically the reassignment of teachers who were removed from their positions due to budgetary fluctuations. Early on, my superiors and I designed a project that allowed me to combine my interest in education policy with my passion for legislative politics, and since then, I have been designing a legislative strategy to address this district issue on a statewide basis.
My exposure to this issue has helped me better understand the roadblocks that education reform initiatives frequently encounter. Though every actor in a public school district, from principals, to central staff, to the teachers’ union, is acting to improve the educational experiences of the students in their district, they are all of different minds on how to accomplish that goal. This barrier is reinforced by the fervor with which people advocate their approach to education policy, which people often perceive to be in incompatible with other reforms. These factors make policy negotiation and implementation especially arduous.
But all that I have learned from policy papers, academic publications, and legislator profiles pales in comparison to what I have learned about the passion with which employees of the BPS Office of Human Capital respond to the challenges of running Massachusetts’ largest school district. Anyone who claims that our schools are controlled by disinterested bureaucrats must spend a day with the former teachers, school administrators, and education policy specialists who have dedicated their lives to improving the educational experience of our students. It is too easy to confuse the potential for further improvement with apathy on the part of an administrator. I will never make that assumption again.
Max Frank '16