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Education Policymakers

Boston, MA & Trenton, NJ: March 29 - April 12, 2003

The Irish Institute at Boston College is pleased to have hosted the Education Policymakers Program from March 29 - April 12, 2003. The program focused on cross-cultural education, testing, special education and curriculum development. Participants from education agencies, school boards, and schools from Ireland and Northern Ireland attended graduate-level seminars at Boston College and visited counterparts in Massachusetts and Trenton, New Jersey.

Educators and education policymakers face similar challenges on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. This program was designed to bring education policymakers from Ireland and Northern Ireland into contact with some of the leading American policymakers, practitioners, and analysts. It is the latest in a series of programs focusing on education policy with the objective of creating cross-border links among policymakers on the island of Ireland, to increase the understanding of American models of education, and to build enduring trans-Atlantic relationships.

While in Boston, participants attended seminars led by Boston College faculty from the Lynch School of Education. The program also featured meetings with officials from the Massachusetts Department of Education, the Superintendant of the Boston Public Schools, and representatives of the Boston Teachers' Union. Also included were site visits to a Head Start program, the Campus School at Boston College, Codman Academy Charter School, and public schools in Boston and Newton, Massachusetts.

The Trenton Public School system and its superintendent Dr. Lytle hosted the program in New Jersey. The two-day visit to Trenton included discussions with faculty, staff and administrators as well as visits to a number of schools and innovative programs. Participants also had the opportunity to meet with researchers at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.