For Immediate Release - January 30, 2012

Secretary Reville Visits Leominster School

New strategies will build on Administration’s efforts to ensure all students are prepared for success

LEOMINSTER – Monday, January 30, 2012 – Education Secretary Paul Reville today visited the Northwest Elementary School in Leominster to discuss the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda.  This set of strategies aims to eliminate persistent achievement gaps that disproportionately affect children living in poverty, students of color, students with disabilities and students who are English language learners.   Many of these students are heavily concentrated in the Commonwealth’s 24 Gateway Cities, including Leominster, and the Gateway Agenda will bring an intense focus to closing achievement gaps among students in those regions.  

Governor Patrick announced $10 million in funding for the Gateway Cities Education Agenda in his FY 13 budget last week, furthering his Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all students, regardless of socioeconomic background, are prepared for success in the classroom and beyond.  

“This set of strategies will continue our efforts to close persistent achievement gaps among our neediest children, while challenging all of our students to do significantly better,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville.  “Northwest Elementary is already at work on some of these core principles and I commend the school for its efforts to reach for excellence for each and every one of its students.”

The Governor’s Gateway Agenda focuses on five goals: (1) getting every child to reading proficiency by the third grade; (2) providing every child with a healthy platform for education; (3) providing students, particularly English Language Learners, with the quality and quantity of education they need to succeed; (4) preparing all students for college and career success; and (5) seeding and incentivizing education.  

The first four goals will be represented by a pilot program the Administration will launch in several of the Commonwealth’s Gateway cities on a competitive grant basis. The fifth will be represented by a Commonwealth Innovation Fund designed to encourage innovation among educators across the state, and will be open to all cities and towns in Massachusetts.

“We welcome Secretary Reville to Northwest Elementary School and look forward to working together to ensure that each and every child receives a first rate education,” said Senator Jennifer Flanagan.  “We are grateful to the Secretary and the Patrick-Murray Administration for their renewed commitment to the highest standards and accountability for Gateway Cities and students across the Commonwealth.”

“Secretary Reville has taken a very active role in schools across Massachusetts.  His ‘on the ground’ approach in taking the time to visit districts provides him with critical knowledge in which to develop effective policies that will help schools implement innovative and creative ways to educate,” said Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella. “As a Gateway City, we face unique challenges in every aspect of government and I appreciate the Secretary’s time and attention to the importance of giving our kids the best education possible.”   

About Northwest Elementary School:

Northwest Elementary School serves approximately 680 students in grades K-5.  Its student body comes from diverse ethnic, varied economic and wide-ranging academic backgrounds.  In addition to core academic instruction, Northwest Elementary offers a 21st Century afterschool program that includes academic support and enrichment activities four days per week.  This program gives students further exposure to academic and social supports to better prepare them for life-long success.  

To learn more about the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda visit www.ma.gov/edu/gatewaycities.