Amazing things happening at Boston’s MATCH School

I recently viewed a remarkable video from a charter school in Boston called The
MATCH School
. Founded only seven years ago, and taking up residence in a former
urban auto parts dealer (“Ellis the Rim Man”) building, the school was launched
on the dream that underprivileged kids in some of Boston’s toughest
neighborhoods are no different than their entitled peers in the bucolic

simple truth is that all kids have a thirst to learn and grow. Given the proper
environment of discipline, unflagging respect, a strong sponsor at home, and
some of the most passionate teachers on the planet, this school has achieved
the impossible. In last years’ rigorous Massachusetts MCAS testing for proficiency,
the 10th grade students beat their peers in the wealthy suburbs in math and
science. Look, before entering MATCH, these kids didn’t have a chance of
passing the test, much less beating the other schools.

Safran is the school’s director, and he notes that all the teachers are housed
in a dorm on the top floor of the building. They stay after school with the
kids in what he calls “tutoring on steroids”.  The study has to be hard;
many students entering as freshmen from other Boston public schools test out at
a fourth grade proficiency in math. The day is long (most stay past 6:00 pm)
and the study extends to Saturdays when other kids are sleeping in, throwing
the football, or playing their Wiis. There is no transportation service; I
spoke to one student whose commute entails a one mile walk, two buses, and the
Boston T rail. Her journey spans an hour and a half–each way.

The results of this love, energy, and rigor? Watch the video announcing
the test score results to the kids, along with some of the others on their YouTube page. And grab a Kleenex!