For Immediate Release - June 01, 2007

Governor Patrick Unveils Vision for Next Phase of Education Reform

Launches Readiness Project: Education as our Competitive Edge -- plan focuses on universal public education pre-k through community college

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BOSTON -Friday, June 1, 2007-Standing before 2,600 graduates of the University of Massachusetts Boston, Governor Deval Patrick today ushered in the next era of education reform in the Commonwealth, a plan that that includes free community college for high school graduates, universal pre-K and extended school day and year. The plan, once implemented, will guarantee that the Massachusetts educational system will graduate students who will be able to compete for any job in the new economy and that Massachusetts will assert itself as a world center of the 21 st century innovation economy.

"So, right here, right now, I am committing this administration for the next 10 years to a statewide and sustained effort to change fundamentally the way we think about and deliver public education, to get ready for our future," said Governor Patrick. "Being ready means public education that is about the whole child, not just success on a single standardized test. Education that fosters creativity of every sort, and that develops the ability to apply those kinds of problem solving skills to a range of challenges."

The Governor outlined his vision for a student-centered public education system that provides a world class education and makes Massachusetts globally competitive. As part of his plan, the Governor has five key education objectives:

  • Provide every child with the opportunity to enter public school ready to learn.
  • Provide every student with outstanding and highly-qualified teachers who are respected professionals recruited from among the best and brightest in the Commonwealth.
  • Provide every student with the support necessary to meet the state's high standards and expectations.
  • Provide the support and infrastructure needed to ensure the opportunity for every student to have an accessible, affordable and globally competitive higher education.
  • Provide an education system that enables every student to transition successfully from high school to higher education, to the workforce ready to succeed and to be a productive, engaged and contributing citizen.

"We in the Commonwealth know education transforms lives," said Governor Patrick. "It can lift the spirit of one student and raise the hopes of an entire generation. It can lead them to their dreams, teach them to work harder, reach further, and do better for themselves, their families, and their community."

To reach these goals and to continue Massachusetts historic role as a public education leader, the Governor focuses on the following key provisions:

  • Universal public education pre-K through two years of community college or education in the professional trades
  • Free Community College
  • Extended Day and Year
  • Universal Pre-K
  • Full Day Kindergarten
  • Improved Teacher Certification, Licensure and Professional Development
  • Strong, Systemic Accountability
  • Strengthen the High School Curriculum
  • Higher Education Investment
  • Short-Term Interagency Funding Task Force
  • "The Readiness Project"

"The Readiness Project- A Review of the Future of Public Education in the Commonwealth "- will encompass a group of educators, legislators, business leaders, and community leaders who will work through some fundamental and systemic challenges that face public education in Massachusetts. Some questions confronting the Project members include:

  • How best to expand time for teaching and learning;
  • How to improve teacher licensing and certification on a broad scale;
  • How to enhance and improve teacher mentoring, induction and professional development;
  • How to align curricula throughout the entire system;
  • How to position and support charter schools, pilot schools, and traditional district schools so they are cooperative components of a comprehensive system;
  • How to improve MCAS and introduce additional standards and assessments;
  • How best to universally extend education an additional two-years;
  • How to fund the education system adequately, equitably, and reliably.

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