For Immediate Release - September 06, 2007


Administration Continues To Strengthen Education Leadership in Commonwealth

BOSTON - Thursday, September 6, 2007 - Underscoring his commitment to providing quality services to the Commonwealth's youngest residents, Governor Deval Patrick today named two new members to the Board of Early Education and Care. The Governor named to the board Sharon Scott-Chandler and J.D. Chesloff - both parents of young children.

Natick resident Sharon Scott-Chandler, vice president of Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) for Head Start and Children's Services, will become the board's new chair.

"These two appointees appreciate the enormous promise of our youngest residents, and bring uncommon expertise and commitment to realizing that potential," said Governor Patrick. "High-quality early education and care provides every child with a sturdy foundation for lifelong learning and helps to create engaged citizens ready to compete in the global economy."

Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to create a Department of Early Education and Care to coordinate and consolidate the range of education and human services focused on youth. A strong focus on early education and care is a cornerstone of Governor Patrick's vision for the future of education in Massachusetts.

The Governor continues to build an education leadership team to carry that vision forward. The Governor recently announced the members of the Leadership Council of the Readiness Project who will develop a comprehensive 10-year strategic plan to move education reform forward, and he has named Fred W. Clark to be the new Chair of the state's Board of Higher Education and Paul Reville to be the Chair of the State Board of Education.

"I am honored to be appointed by Governor Patrick to be part of the Commonwealth's education leadership team," said Sharon Scott-Chandler. "I know that if we collectively hold to the principles of high-quality early care and developmentally-appropriate education by qualified teachers, we can together move closer to our goal of educating the whole child and nurturing every child."

Scott-Chandler brings a long record of experience to her service on the board. In addition to her experience as a provider of early education and care services, Scott-Chandler is an attorney and former Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth. She also has extensive policy and legislative affairs experience. Scott-Chandler will preside as Chair at the next Board of Early Education and Care meeting on September 11th.

Arlington resident J.D. Chesloff brings a diverse perspective on early education and care to his service on the board. Chesloff is the Director of Public Policy for the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. Previously, he served as Legislative/Issues Director at Strategies for Children - a leading early education and care advocacy group in the state. Chesloff has also held policy-making, budget and legislative positions in state government and in higher education.

"Issues, strategies and initiatives in education today are inextricably interwoven with economic issues," said Chesloff. "Offering high-quality early education and care for all children will not only boost our capacity to close achievement gaps, but it will also help to strengthen economic prospects for individuals and the Commonwealth."

Adults who participate in high-quality early education programs are more likely to earn higher incomes, have higher educational achievement and engage in more socially-responsible behavior, according to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40. Recent reports also show investments in early childhood education yield a higher return for every dollar spent.

"Early education has been a top priority for us in the legislature," said Representative Patricia A. Haddad (D-Somerset), the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. "I am looking forward to working with Sharon Scott-Chandler in her role as chair, J.D. Chesloff and the rest of the board."

"I commend the Governor on these two appointments to the Early Education and Care Board" said Senator Robert A. Antonioni (D-Leominster), Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Education. "Both appointees bring significant experience and strong leadership to advance the objectives and goals of the Board. I am very enthusiastic about their appointment and I look forward to working with them in the future."


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