By Mayor Brian M. Arrigo
This was written for the upcoming edition of The Revere Educator, published by the Revere Public Schools
The feature story in the “Ideas” section of the Oct. 13 Boston Sunday Globe summarized a study that demonstrated that where a child grows up “…can have a profound influence on
prospects for moving up the economic ladder and grabbing a piece of the American Dream.” The author wrote of one “genuine surprise” produced in the study, and that surprise included Revere as among blue-collar cities that “managed to put thousands of their poorest Black and Latino children on paths to upward mobility.”
While this was characterized as a “revelation” for the researchers, I think that educators in Revere were less surprised. If anything, the study confirmed what we have believed in Revere for a long time: strong backing for public education, devoted and supported faculty and staff, and hard-working families comprise a potent launch pad for Revere students who venture into the world after high school.
Time after time, Revere has emerged as a leader in public education. Frankly, I am surprised that anyone is still surprised to learn that. Revere High, after all, is the workplace of the Massachusetts 2018 STEM Teacher of the Year, Erin Cronin, who teaches advanced placement calculus. And her philosophy—“We don’t lower our expectations here”—is shared by the hundreds of individuals who devote their talents and imagination to educating our students.
The success of the Revere Public School system is not sudden, and it is not by accident. It has evolved over years of persistent effort to maximize the resources available to us. Over the past 20 years, we have seen new school buildings open, and today we stand at the beginning of the City’s most important educational venture, the design and construction of a new Revere High School.
At our first Visioning Session recently, we started to see the basic sketch of the public’s expectation for a new school. In the months to come, we will examine the current strengths in the school department and determine how to push those strengths to greater heights. As well, we will examine areas where we can improve, and we will cultivate programs and strategies that will assure our residents that Revere maintains the highest standards of education.
Complete achievement in public education involves more than just well-equipped buildings and outstanding staff. It requires the enthusiasm and encouragement from everyone in government and in our neighborhoods. As Mayor of the City, I recognize how imperative it is that I set an example to promote the public awareness and energy that bolsters our students and teachers. When I enter an elementary school to celebrate Read Across America Day, or speak at a middle school College Day and Career Day, or sit in the stands at a high school sports event, I appreciate that I am demonstrating to our students that the City of Revere is proud of their accomplishments and supports their aspirations.
Like many communities in Greater Boston, Revere has changed over the years. In our schools, that change has been all for the better. Our curriculum today reflects modern education in a modern world. Classroom study is intensely focused on critical thinking, collaborative effort, and personal interaction and tolerance.
Perhaps others elsewhere are surprised when they learn that individuals who hail from Revere achieve success. Here, we see that kind of success as one more example of the result of our efforts. After all, we don’t lower expectations here. Indeed, we set them mighty high, and fully expect to achieve them.
Brian Arrigo is the Mayor of the City of Revere.