In, June of 1993, the Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA) was signed into law. It took several years to design and implement the master plan that would take education reform well into the 21st century. When the plan was designed it included five major goals:.
1. Ensure all students achieve high standards.
2. Enhance the Quality & Professionalism of Teachers.
3. Support Excellence & Accountability in all Schools.
4. Streamline & Ensure Compliance with State and Federal Regulations.
5. Create a Statewide Infrastructure of Support for Schools.
Each of these goals has many initiatives that must be implemented to reach the goal. Many of the initiatives involve the local community, the local government, and the federal government. Education is a service that is provided to each citizen regardless of age, race, religion, or sex. It is a social service that is subsidized and regulated by the federal government. The regulations help insure each individual is treated equally in their opportunity to grow and learn. Unfortunately, the same goals that are intended to insure equal opportunity for each person are the same goals that do not take into account that differences in culture, religion, and wealth demand different approaches to education. Many of the initiatives that were designed as part of the MERA are having economic and social consequences that must now be considered.
Much like a business, the education system has stakeholders. The stakeholders include employees such as teachers and administrators, customers such as students and other companies, and secondary stakeholders such as parents and the rest of the community that benefits from the product the education system produces. The products are well-educated students that are able to contribute to the community and society. So how the education system treats its stakeholders has a large impact on its own success and the success of the surrounding community.