Filed under: Education
Governor Deval Patrick announced new education programs for the Commonweath’s Gateway Cities.
First – Gateway Cities: “Gateway Cities have a population between 35,000 and 250,000, with an average household income below the state average and an average educational attainment rate (Bachelor’s or above) below the state average.” Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 23A , §3(a).
Second – the policy.
Building off his 2010 Achievement Gap Act, the programs in for the Gateway Cities will focus on ensuring that every child, regardless of socioeconomic or racial background is provided the opportunity to succeed.
Here’s the information released today about the four goals and programs that will be implemented to achieve the goals:
(1) getting every child to reading proficiency by the third grade - Kindergarten Readiness Literacy Pilot Program
(2) providing every child with a healthy platform for education - Student Support Councils
(3) creating a differentiated education system that meets each student, particularly English Language Learners, where they are - Summer English Learning Program
(4) preparing all students for college and career success - pilot high school career academies
Not much information has been released about the specifics of these programs, but the reform are certainly in the right direction (and seemingly focused towards Massachusetts’ Race to the Top).
Despite all of the work done on education policy within the Boston Public Schools, it is important to remember how economic and industrial changes over the past 50 years have drastically impacted former mill towns and other areas of Massachusetts. In the Commonwealth, as in many other states throughout the country, achievement gaps do not just exist between cities/rural areas and the suburbs, but also in former flourishing towns that have fallen on hard times as the economy has changed.
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