|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, February 14, 2002|
|Contact:||Jonathan Palumbo 781-338-3105 or Kristin Moresi 617-727-2759|
Governor Swift, Commissioner Driscoll Laud School-Business MCAS Partnership
BOSTON - Calling on more businesses to participate in the statewide effort to prepare students to pass the MCAS exam, Governor Jane Swift and state Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll on Thursday hailed a program at Boston High School as one other businesses should replicate.
Approximately 40 10th graders participate in the school-to-career tutoring partnership with JP Morgan Chase and William M. Mercer Consulting. Throughout the 20-week program, students walk to the neighboring offices after school one day a week for 90-minute tutoring sessions in the work environment.
Participating students spend 10 weeks being tutored in English, and the other 10 weeks being tutored in Mathematics. The program will end in April, just before the 2002 MCAS exam is administered.
"This unique partnership is an excellent example of area businesses and schools working together to ensure our children's success," Swift said. "I strongly encourage more organizations to get involved by developing additional programs with school systems throughout our Commonwealth."
Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll agreed.
"By getting tutored in an office setting, these students are not only preparing for the MCAS, they are getting a glimpse at what could lie ahead for them after high school," he said. "This is truly a win-win for everyone involved."
Employees of the two participating businesses said they recognized the need for more people to play a role in the statewide effort to aid all students in danger of not passing the MCAS exam.
"Involvement in the tutoring program provided us with an opportunity
to become a better corporate citizen in the community," said Marc LaVallee, JP Morgan Chase program coordinator. " More importantly, we believe that obtaining a strong education is a critical step in helping students realize their dreams."
William M. Mercer launched into the partnership through their company's internal program, Mercer Cares About Students.
"We have made our commitment to the students of Boston High through Mercer Cares About Students, our own MCAS initiative," said Jim McCaffrey, leader of the tutoring effort from William M. Mercer. "We believe that businesses like ours can make a difference in helping students pass the MCAS test, one student at a time."
Boston Superintendent Thomas Payzant called the program "an excellent opportunity for both businesses and students."
"Students benefit from the reinforcement of what they're learning in the classroom, and businesses are helping to develop a strong labor pool for the future," he said. "We are focused on providing every child with the academic foundation for future success, and these businesses are helping many students reach that goal."