When the Mildred Avenue K-8 School opened in 2003 in a newly constructed building in Mattapan, parents and school officials were full of optimism. But a decade later, the school was struggling: MCAS scores were among the lowest in the state, principal turnover was high, enrollment was plummeting.

Worried the state would mandate changes, school district leaders and the teachers union stepped in. They tapped a seldom-used teacher contract provision that essentially let a group of teachers craft their own turnaround plan and play a key role in hiring a new principal — all under the joint oversight of the central offices and the union.

Read the full article.