Governor Deval Patrick announced a “renewed education strategy” today that places much-needed emphasis on the state’s Gateway Cities.* The plan is centered around four goals:
“1) getting every child to reading proficiency by the third grade;
(2) providing every child with a healthy platform for education;
(3) creating a differentiated education system that meets each student, particularly English Language Learners, where they are; and
(4) preparing all students for college and career success.”
To help Gateway Cities achieve the first goal, Gov. Patrick will establish a “Kindergarten Readiness Literacy Pilot Program” in these cities to provide intensive preparation for “at-risk” students during the summer before entering Kindergarten.
A “healthy platform for education” will be created through the creation of Student Support Councils and Counselors to address non-academic needs of Gateway City students and parents.
The third goal will be addressed through the Gateway Cities Summer English Learning Program that will provide intensive ELL support between school years.
Finally, career academies at Gateway City high schools are proposed to promote career and college readiness.
It will be interesting to see the plan, outlined in this press release, in greater detail to understand what implementation will look like and how its success will be evaluated. Nevertheless, it’s great to know that our smaller industrial cities will be getting some much needed attention, particularly in the areas of early literacy, ELL, and wraparound support.
*In this case, that means Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield and Worcester, according to the State House News Service.