|For Immediate Release|
|Tuesday, January 8, 2002|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman (781) 338-3106 or Jonathan Palumbo (781) 338-3105|
Massachusetts and Springfield Selected for National Grant to Improve Educational Leadership
MALDEN - The state of Massachusetts and the city of Springfield have been awarded two interrelated national grants that will support and enhance the quality of leadership in public schools.
Massachusetts is one of only 15 states to receive the State Action for Education Leadership grant (SAELP). Springfield was one of only 10 communities nationwide to receive the district component Leadership for Educational Achievement in Districts (LEAD) grant.
"Once again, Massachusetts is demonstrating that it is a national leader in pursuing innovative programs to help our students, teachers and administrators," said Gov. Jane Swift. "We need our current and future principals to receive the best support and training, and these grants help accomplish that goal."
The grants were announced Tuesday at the Edward P. Boland School in Springfield.
The five-year $5 million grant will allow the Springfield Public Schools to implement a comprehensive program of recruitment, training, professional development, peer support and accountability for principals and aspiring principals.
The Department of Education will use the $300,000 grant to develop policies and practices to assure current school leaders are properly trained and that qualified individuals are encouraged to apply for future school leadership positions.
"School administrators play a vital role in the educational success of our students," Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "This grant money will allow the Department and the city of Springfield to explore new ways of improving both the training and recruiting of leaders in schools."
Springfield Superintendent Joseph Burke said the generous grant will allow Springfield to "turn the challenge of early retirement into an outstanding opportunity for student success,"
"All available research shows that school leadership is fundamental to improving student performance," he said. "Large school districts like Springfield cry out for excellent educational leadership, particularly among under-represented professionals of color."
The money was supplied by the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds. A national consortium consisting of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governors’ Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of State Boards of Education and the Education Commission of the States selected the recipients of the SAELP and LEAD grants.