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WSC Member of a New Readiness Center to Support Educators

October 13, 2009
By: Worcester State University News

Governor Deval Patrick announced that Worcester State College is a partner in one of six regional first-ever Readiness Centers, a priority outlined in the Governor’s Education Action Agenda as a key strategy to improve teacher quality.

The Readiness Centers will be focused on enhancing the quality of teaching across the education continuum from early childhood through higher education, and will support educators in every corner of the Commonwealth. They will offer services and activities that address local and regional educational needs as well as statewide priorities.

Worcester State College is one of the partners in the Central Massachusetts Readiness Center, joining Fitchburg State College and Massachusetts Elementary School Principals’ Association.

“A highly knowledgeable, well trained and dedicated teacher in every classroom is the key to all of our education reform efforts,” said Governor Patrick. “Readiness Centers will help us support our teachers as we seek to give every student access to a quality education.”

“We are delighted to be part of this effort,” said Worcester State College President Janelle Ashley.  “Worcester State College has a long history of commitment to teaching and education and applauds the administration for creation of these centers.”

Readiness Centers will help improve the theory and action of teaching by providing educators with greater access to proven instructional practices, proven practices in the use of student data to help inform instruction and increased and more focused professional development opportunities. For example, the Centers will provide teachers with assistance regarding curriculum development and alignment, including strategies for lesson planning and helping all students’ access complex content.

“The establishment of the regional Readiness Centers will result in the development of a robust network of institutions and organizations focused on supporting the teaching profession,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville. “These Centers will have a significant impact on all aspects of our public education system including early education and care, elementary and secondary education and higher education, and unite them in common goals of dramatically improving the quality of teaching and addressing other critical education priorities.”

Each Readiness Center will be managed by a regional consortium that includes institutions of higher education, educational collaboratives, educational services providers and business and community partners. These entities will work in partnership with early education and care providers, school districts and other stakeholders to deliver a broad array of targeted, aligned and coherent instructional and professional development services.

Additionally, the six regional District and School Assistance Centers (DSACs) that are currently being developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) will be located at the regional Readiness Centers. The DSACs will collaborate with Readiness Center partners and other organizations to design, deliver or evaluate some of the targeted assistance and focused professional development services that the DSACs will provide.

The Executive Office of Education (EOE) issued a Request for Responses in July 2009 inviting eligible stakeholders to submit proposals to establish Readiness Centers. Six proposals were received in September and reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from EOE and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), ESE and the Department of Higher Education (DHE) before being recommended to Secretary Reville for final review.

Over the coming year, the EOE will work with EEC, ESE and DHE to support the efforts of the regional partners to implement their proposed plans.

The six Readiness Centers and the primary partners are as follows.

Berkshire Readiness Center: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Berkshire Community College and the Berkshire Compact for Higher Education.

Central Massachusetts Readiness Center: Fitchburg State College, Massachusetts Elementary School Principals’ Association and Worcester State College.

Greater Boston Readiness Center: Framingham State College, UMASS Boston, Wheelock College, Massachusetts Bay Community College and the Greater Boston Regional Collaboratives Organization.

Northeast Regional Readiness Center: Salem State College, UMASS Lowell, North Shore Community College, Middlesex Community College, Northern Essex Community College, Merrimack College, Endicott College and Gordon College.

Pioneer Valley Readiness Center: Westfield State College, UMASS Amherst, Hampshire Educational Collaborative and the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative.

Southeastern Massachusetts Readiness Center: Bridgewater State College, UMASS Dartmouth, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Massasoit Community College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Brockton Workforce Investment Board, New Bedford Workforce

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