|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, September 25, 1997|
Massachusetts Education Boards Announce Unprecedented Joint Teacher Training Awards
Malden - Massachusetts has become the first state in the country to combine federal funds from the Dwight D. Eisenhower professional development program and the Goals 2000 program, to initiate an innovative, coordinated $1.4 million dollar effort to strengthen pre-service teacher education in the state's schools.
Commissioner of Education Robert V. Antonucci for the Massachusetts Board of Education, and Chancellor Stanley Z. Koplik on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, jointly announced on Thursday September 25 that the Board of Education voted to award $705,000 of Massachusetts Goals 2000 pre-service funds to school districts working in partnership with higher education institutions that also will receive $710,000 of Eisenhower professional development funds from the Board of Higher Education.
"This $1.4 millon initiative demonstrates the commitment of both educational policy-making Boards to support the preparation of a diverse group of teachers extremely well qualified to help students meet the challenges set by Education Reform. It also enables both Boards to ensure a more coordinated and equitable use of limited resources across the state in order to achieve greater impact. Without this joint initiative, these funds would have been fragmented. When combined, they can make a more powerful difference in strengthening programs to prepare teachers for Massachusetts public school classrooms," Antonucci and Koplik said in a joint statement.
These programs will concentrate on three areas:
- recruitment programs to create a more diverse teacher workforce;
- redesign of teacher pre-service preparation experiences to maximize the contributions of both schools and colleges to teacher training; and
- support for mentoring programs to help new teachers as they begin their careers.
A representative of the US Department of Education said he was "delighted" with the Massachusetts joint announcement. "This is a creative and excellent combining of resources that will strengthen teacher professional development, and we are thrilled to see it happen," said Daniel Bonner, a regional team leader for the School Improvement Program of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the federal education agency.
There were 37 grant awards made, selected from 77 applications made by partnerships of local school districts with colleges and universities across the state. A peer review screening of applications was made before Commissioner Antonucci made his recommendations to the state Board of Education for its formal vote of approval, and before Chancellor Koplik made awards on behalf of the Board of Higher Education. A list of the 37 grant recipients follows.