“The Commonwealth’s record of student achievement is second to none and a model for the nation. I am proud of the progress we have made, but we won’t be satisfied until we have a system that prepares all of our students for success.”
-Governor Deval Patrick,
Education Summit - November 9, 2011
Governor Deval Patrick has named closing the achievement gap a priority for his second term. The Gateway Cities Education Agenda , first proposed by the Governor in November 2011, aims to eliminate these gaps that disproportionately affect students living in poverty, students of color, students with disabilities, and students who are English language learners in our Gateway Cities. This Agenda will provide critical support and assistance to students and their families in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities and result in the creation of a stronger and more robust 21st century public education system across the Commonwealth.
The FY13 state budget includes $3.5 million in new funding to support the implementation of the Gateway Cities Education Agenda, and in particular, strategies focused on supporting English language learners and increasing career readiness for high school students.
Gateway Cities Agenda in the News
English Language Learners Enrichment Academies
Despite high levels of overall student performance in the Commonwealth, wide achievement gaps between English language learners and their peers persist. Additionally, the English language learner population in Massachusetts is growing exponentially. There are nearly 68,000 English language learners in the Commonwealth, a 51 percent increase since 2000, and the number of districts that enroll these students has nearly doubled since 2000.
The FY 13 budget includes $3 million in competitive grants to operate English Language Learners Enrichment Academies that will give middle and high school ELLs more time to acquire English language skills. Grants will be awarded to operate Summer English Learning Academies during the summer of 2013 that will provide middle and high school English language learners in their communities with high-intensity, tailored learning opportunities. Grants will also be awarded to operate Summer English Learning Academies plus supplementary enrichment programs during the spring of 2013 including after-school sessions, Saturday programs, or sessions during the April school vacation week. The summer academies will offer full-day services to students for at least four days per week and four consecutive weeks. All academies will be geared toward middle and high school students classified as English language learners and will accelerate students’ acquisition of English language and literacy skills in varied learning environments. Grantees will be awarded up to $350,000.
Students in the Gateway Cities have an average four-year graduation rate of 63 percent, and in some of these cities, as few as 15 percent of incoming 9th graders will complete high school on time and enroll in a four-year college or university. Only 21 percent of Gateway Cities residents who are 25 years of age or older have attained a bachelor’s degree, compared with the state average of 39 percent. In order to sustain its economic improvement and produce employees who can compete in a global economy, the Commonwealth must ensure that all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready.
The FY 13 budget includes $500,000 in competitive grants to establish Career Academies and Education and Industry Coordinating Councils (EICCs). Grants will be awarded to support planning activities related to the establishment of Career Academies that will operate by September 2013. These Academies will provide students with greater opportunities for early career exploration, offer more motivating educational experiences through applied learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom, and create multiple and seamless pathways to postsecondary educational and employment opportunities. Grant recipients will also establish Education and Industry Coordinating Councils (EICCs) that are co-chaired by the public school district superintendent and the chair of the local Workforce Investment Board and include representatives from district high schools and charter schools, public and private institutions of higher education, industry partners, and local/regional employers. Among other responsibilities, the EICCs will create robust job-embedded learning opportunities such as internships and externships for students enrolled in the Career Academies. Grantees will be awarded up to $75,000.
The Executive Office of Education (EOE) will award both types of competitive grants in November 2012. Statements of Interest signed by the mayor (or the equivalent head of municipal government) and the public school district superintendent on behalf the eligible applicants in a Gateway City must be submitted to the EOE on Friday, August 31, 2012. Grant proposals must be submitted to the EOE by Monday, November 2, 2012.
- Announcement from Secretary Reville 8.6.2012
- English Language Learners Enrichment Academies RFP
- Career Academies Planning Grants RFP
- Gateway Cities Education Agenda Grant Programs Fact Sheet
- PowerPoint Presentations for Technical Assistance Webinars on August 15th and 16th
Read the press release on the Governor’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda here.