For Immediate Release - March 23, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK VISITS CHICOPEE SCHOOL TO HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF GATEWAY CITIES EDUCATION AGENDA IN CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAPS

Fairview Veterans Mem. Middle School, Chicopee
Governor Patrick visits Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School in Chicopee to discuss the Administration's Gateway Cities Education Agenda with students and faculty. (Photo credit: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office). View additional photos.

CHICOPEE – Friday, March 23, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today visited the Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School in Chicopee 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 children are heavily concentrated in the Commonwealth’s 24 Gateway Cities, including Chicopee. The Gateway Agenda will bring an intense focus to closing achievement gaps among students in these regions.  

“The Commonwealth’s record of student achievement is second to none and a model for the nation,” said Governor Patrick. “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.”  

In January, Governor Patrick announced $10 million in funding for the Gateway Cities Education Agenda in his Fiscal Year 2013 budget, furthering his Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all students – regardless of socioeconomic background – are prepared for success in the classroom and in life.  

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.

“This set of strategies represents the next phase in our efforts to close persistent achievement gaps and focus our resources on our neediest children, while challenging all students to do significantly better,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville.

About Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School:  

Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School serves approximately 700 students in grades six through eight. The school maintains high standards and expectations for all students by involving teachers, parents and the community in the education of its students. Fairview has a very active Parent-Teacher Organization and parents at the school can directly monitor student assignments and progress online through a district-wide education portal.

Fairview Veterans Memorial is one of 127 Commendation Schools statewide recognized for their efforts and results in improving student achievement this year. Commendation Schools are selected by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for progress in closing proficiency rates and helping all students achieve at higher levels.

The year, students at Fairview Veterans Memorial demonstrated increased levels of students reaching proficient on the state’s Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams in Grade 8 in English Language Arts (ELA).

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

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