The “Murkland Miracle” is one of the most dramatic school turnarounds in the nation. CTAC, through its Innovations Lab, helped implement the Standard Bearer Schools model to identify and address the root causes of the school’s underperformance. The results at the Murkland School, part of Lowell Public Schools, show that a blend of school and district leadership, a committed faculty, and capacity building makes a real difference for students.

“CTAC’s Standard Bearer Schools process supported our reform efforts and resulted in greater academic achievement, strong school leadership, and a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.”

—Jean Franco, Superintendent (former)


  • Met its three-year improvement goals in a single year.
  • Achieved the greatest gains in state test scores of all 35 of the state’s “Level 4” schools, including significant gains in both English and mathematics.
  • Recognized as one of only four schools to go from worst to first, from Level 4 to Level 1 (top 20%), by sustaining its academic success for three years.