LSOE Takes Lead

7 Mass. Institutions to Work With Local Schools

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

The Massachusetts Coalition for Teacher Quality and Student Achievement, led by Boston College, has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the United States Department of Education to enhance teacher education.

The coalition includes seven institutions - Boston College, Clark University, Lesley College, Northeastern University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and Wheelock College - as well as 18 public schools in Boston, Springfield and Worcester.

The Massachusetts group was one of 25 partnerships nationwide awarded a total of $33 million in teacher-training grants announced by the Department of Education on Sept. 7.

Boston College is lead partner in the Massachusetts Coalition, a statewide initiative to enhance the preparation of new teachers with the skills and knowledge to excel as educators in urban public schools. Each college or university in the coalition will be partnered with two or more public schools.

BC will partner with Garfield Elementary School in Allston and with Brighton High School. Faculty from the Lynch School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences will join with Boston Public School colleagues to promote literacy across the curriculum at each school.

"We are delighted to receive this grant," said lead researcher Dennis Shirley, the LSOE associate dean. "This will enable us to further enhance the already stellar work which Boston College has accomplished in its many partnerships with urban public schools.

"In addition, the larger collaboration with six higher education institutions and three city school systems will demonstrate that colleges and universities can truly become civic leaders and can work together with our public school colleagues to attack the most tenacious problems in American education today."

LSOE Dean Mary Brabeck said, "The grant reflects not only the commitment of Boston College to develop superb teachers for our city schools, but it also is an expression of the strong leadership in the commonwealth for education reform.

"In this regard we are particularly grateful for the national leadership of Sen. Ted Kennedy, who has long been one of the most articulate advocates of the primacy of education among our domestic issues," said Brabeck. She also noted the support of Gov. Paul Cellucci, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Payzant.

"Political leaders in the commonwealth understand that we will only achieve success in our school reform efforts if we build strong networks of civic engagement that cross our institutional boundaries," said Brabeck.

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