A discussion with the Commonwealth's new Secretary of Education & Kickoff to the first Massachusetts Gateway Cities Conference
Thursday, October 2, 2008 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
White’s of Westport 66 State Road, Westport MA
Hosted & Organized by The UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative Co-sponsored by MassINC
On Thursday evening, October 2, 2008, the UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative hosted an opening reception to the Gateway Cities Conference as not only a kickoff to that event but also an opportunity to showcase the University’s newly established School of Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement, which has brought together faculty and staff from the education and public policy departments as well as several of the University’s research centers and community outreach programs toward achieving Chancellor Jean MacCormack’s vision of further embedding the University’s resources and its students and faculty in the communities we serve and in ways that will help the region overcome its economic, social, and educational challenges.
The reception brought together approximately one hundred and sixty individuals who reflect a diverse cross section of our region’s elected officials, educational leaders, business leaders, and community stakeholders as a way to demonstrate the University’s understanding of its role in the region’s urban schools and illustrate the ways in which we believe the School of Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement can enrich the experience, education, and skills of its students.
The Urban Initiative also had the distinct honor of hosting the state’s newly appointed Secretary of Education, Paul Reville, who delivered a keynote address on the challenges and gaps that persist between urban schools and those in more affluent communities, his vision for the future of education reform in Massachusetts, and the role that higher education can play in those efforts. Since educational attainment is a key indicator of a community’s quality of life, the Urban Initiative believes that no effective statewide urban agenda can survive or grow without equivalent investments in education that address the specific and unique needs and demands of today’s urban school districts and the prevalence of dropouts in these urban communities. As such, this event and the Secretary’s participation offered a tangible way for us to begin talking about equitable and reasonable statewide policies that can allow these communities to effectively deal with and resolve these concerns.
These photos are courtesy of Dr. David Weed, Coordinator of the Fall River Healthy City Initiative.
Urban Initiative’s Director, Ed Lambert delivered by the presentation below during the reception. It highlights the work of the Urban Initiative over the past eleven months, briefly describes the work done on the Gateway Cities Initiative and showcases the University’s newly established School of Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement.
Reception to Kickoff Gateway Cities Conference [PDF]
(New Bedford Standard Times, September 26, 2008) *
Education Secretary Sees Challenges for Urban Schools [PDF]
(Fall River Herald News, October 2, 2008)