Patricia Delaney
Media Relations
(617) 552-3350


Part of Landmark National Initiative to Strengthen K-12 Teaching

CHESTNUT HILL, MA -- The Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch School of Education at Boston College, in collaboration with the University's College of Arts & Sciences, will receive a $5 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of its Teachers for a New Era initiative.

A national advisory panel, working on behalf of the Carnegie Corporation, recommended that Boston College receive the award along with six additional institutions of higher education. Teachers for a New Era, a landmark initiative undertaken by the Carnegie Corporation to strengthen K-12 teaching, supports state-of-the art schools of education which are focused on evidence-driven teacher education programs. The initiative is expected to directly influence public policy leaders concerned with the quality of the nation's teachers.

"This award is especially gratifying in that it supports work very much in keeping with the mission of Boston College to respond to society's needs," said BC Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties John J. Neuhauser. "The designation is a tribute to the work of our faculty, and also provides a welcome opportunity to help address what is a very important issue in our nation."

Boston College was selected for this designation in recognition of both the capability of its teacher preparation program and its University-wide commitment to the initiative, which includes among its design principles an effective engagement by the school of education with the arts and sciences.

"This is a tremendous achievement and testimony to the strong partnerships between the faculties of BC's Lynch School and its College of Arts and Sciences," said Lynch School Dean Mary Brabeck. "The funding will deepen what are already extensive collaborations between faculty and students who care about pre-K-12 education, and our colleagues in our partnering schools. I am deeply grateful for the support of both the president [Rev. William P. Leahy, SJ] and academic vice president of Boston College; without them we would not have succeeded in obtaining this very prestigious award," she added.

"I am delighted with this news," said BC College of Arts & Sciences Dean Joseph F. Quinn. "The preparation of the next generation of teachers is the responsibility of all of us, not just the School of Education. This grant will provide the College of Arts and Sciences with the opportunity to increase the quantity and quality of our contribution.

"I believed that Boston College would be a strong candidate, despite the very strong competition, because of the extensive interaction that already exists among many A&S departments and the Lynch School, and because a team of terrific faculty from both schools put together an outstanding and ambitious proposal," said Quinn. "I look forward to working with [BC Associate Academic Vice President for Undergraduate Programs John J. Burns] Joe Burns, who will oversee the effort, and with many A&S and Lynch School faculty to put our plans into action."

Added BC's Burns, "This is truly an exciting opportunity to help more of the students in our College of Arts & Sciences understand the teaching process. More and more liberal arts graduates are being recruited into the teaching profession, so this initiative offers an excellent way to get them started, as well as to raise the profile of teaching in general."

Boston College is among seven institutions of higher learning with schools of education chosen for this designation in this second round of competition, joining four others announced in 2002. In addition to BC, the institutions chosen in this round include Florida A&M University; the University of Connecticut; Stanford University; the University of Texas at El Paso; the University of Washington, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The institutions chosen in 2002 were Bank Street College of Education in New York City; California State University, Northridge; Michigan State University and the University of Virginia. Each of the seven schools will receive a $5 million commitment, over five years, which they must match locally.

"Thanks to the support of the Annenberg and Ford foundations which are collaborating directly with the Corporation on this teacher education reform movement, there are now eleven institutions of higher education that education policymakers involved in setting the nation's agenda can turn to for research, practice and results about how to prepare teachers. We think these schools--in time--can make a difference in how teachers are educated and regarded as professionals," says Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The Annenberg Foundation has contributed $11.5 million to this venture; the Ford Foundation contributed $5.75 million and the Rockefeller Foundation, with an initial contribution of $500,000, will ensure that Teachers for a New Era is evaluated and the lessons learned shared with educators across the country.

"We know from research that teachers are the single most important factor in a student's achievement," says Dan Fallon, chair of Carnegie Corporation's education division and the designer of the Teachers for a New Era initiative, "and this design will strengthen the strategies that produce the most successful teachers."

The eleven schools of education have support from the top leadership at their colleges or universities and will pursue three critical design principles of Teachers for a New Era:

  1. A culture of respect for evidence that includes looking at a graduate's effectiveness by documenting their students' achievements
  2. An effective engagement by the school of education with the arts and sciences
  3. A conception of teaching as a clinical practice that encompasses a period of residency following graduation to ensure responsibility for graduates' performance

The Lynch School is well-suited to the Teachers for a New Era initiative, given its ongoing commitment to the mission of working to improve the lives of children, youth and families through a commitment to high-quality teacher preparation, scholarly research and hands-on community outreach.

The Lynch School's ongoing collaboration with the Boston Public Schools is one example of this commitment, notably its work with the Gardner Elementary School in Allston, where Lynch School faculty, in collaboration with faculty from across the University, have helped to establish an extended service effort that now provides mental health counseling, adult education, health care and after-school opportunities, in addition to educational services, to the school's 450 students and their families. In 2002, the Gardner became the first Boston public school to receive the Mayor's Award for Excellence in Children's Health.

Full details of the Teachers for a New Era prospectus can be found on the Carnegie Corporation's web site at

Over the life of the Teachers for a New Era initiative, the Corporation and the other foundation collaborators expect to spend more than $65 million on this teacher education design. This year, each of the seven institutions will receive a $5 million commitment, over five years, which they must match locally. Additional foundation grants will cover evaluations and up to $500,000 that each university will share with its local partners including school districts and other teacher education programs.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grant-making foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in the world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.6 billion on September 30, 2002. The Corporation awards grants totaling approximately $80 million a year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and strengthening U.S. democracy.