Gateway Cities Agenda in the News
Governor Deval Patrick has made closing achievement gaps a top priority in his second term. The Gateway Cities Education Agenda Fact Sheet , first proposed by the Governor in November 2011, aims to eliminate 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 provides 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 FY15 state budget continues the funding provided in FY13 ($3 million) and FY14 ($3 million) and includes $2.5 million to support the implementation of the Gateway Cities Education Agenda, and in particular, strategies focused on supporting English language learners.
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 FY13 budget included $3 million in competitive grants to operate English Language Learner Enrichment Academies, which was awarded to 12 Gateway City districts. The FY14 budget also included $3 million in competitive grants, which was awarded in the form of continuation grants to the 12 districts funded in FY13 and 8 grants to new districts that had not previously received funding.
The FY 15 budget continues the funding to operate English Language Learner Enrichment Academies, providing $2.5 million in competitive grants to give middle and high school ELLs more time to acquire English language skills. As in the past, grants will be awarded to operate English Learning Academies during the summer of 2015 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 2015 including after-school sessions, Saturday programs, or sessions during the April school vacation week.
The summer academies will offer full-day (at least six hours a day) services to students for a minimum of twenty days – and must provide a total of 120 hours of programming. 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 $200,000.
- Discussion Question Slides
- Fall Convening Slides
- Session A: Curriculum Roundtable Handout
- Session B: Family Community Roundtable Handout
- Session C: School Year Roundtable Handout
- Post Convening Team Discussion Guide
- Roundtable Facilitator Guide
Apply for FY15 Gateway Cities Education Agenda English Language Learners Enrichment Academies Competitive Grants. Grants are due at 5:00pm on December 1, 2014.
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 FY13 and FY14 budgets included $500,000 in competitive grants to establish Career Academies and Education and Industry Coordinating Councils (EICCs). Grants were awarded to nine districts in FY13 and six districts in FY14 to support planning activities related to the establishment of Career Academies and to provide students with: greater opportunities for early career exploration, more motivating educational experiences through applied learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom, and multiple and seamless pathways to post secondary educational and employment opportunities. Grant recipients established Education and Industry Coordinating Councils (EICCs) co-chaired by the public school district superintendent and the chair of the local Workforce Investment Board with representatives from district high schools and charter schools, public and private institutions of higher education, industry partners, and local/regional employers.
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