Governor Patrick first proposed the reestablishment of an Executive Office of Education (EOE) to increase alignment and create a comprehensive public education system in Massachusetts – one that would truly support children and students from birth all the way through postsecondary education. In order to ensure that this coordination among all levels of education is taking place, the EOE has created a new architecture for promoting ongoing and effective collaboration and better coordination among the early education, K-12, and higher education sectors.
Our six Readiness Centers – the Berkshire Readiness Center, the Pioneer Valley Readiness Center, the Central Massachusetts Readiness Center, the Greater Boston Readiness Center, the Northeast Regional Readiness Center, and the Southeastern Massachusetts Readiness Center – are an important component of this new statewide architecture. These Centers were established in October 2009, and they are managed by regional teams that include public and private institutions of higher education, K-12 school districts, early education and out-of-school-time programs, educational collaboratives, non-profit organizations, and business and community partners.
The work of the Centers has evolved significantly over the past several years. While they are still focused on enhancing educator effectiveness by providing and coordinating high-quality professional development for educators across the state, they have recently taken on new responsibilities including disseminating important information about effective models and best practices and convening educators to tackle key education priorities and also leverage resources and expertise. With these new functions, the Readiness Centers are helping to create essential opportunities for cross-sector problem-solving about our core education issues.
Since their inception, the Readiness Centers have contributed to significantly to our efforts to ensure that every student in the Commonwealth has the tools and supports they need to reach their full potential. For example, by supporting the implementation of elements of our K-12 Race to the Top (RTTT) plan, including our transition to new Curriculum Frameworks in English Language Arts and Math and the implementation of new tools for our English language learners, the Centers have proven to be critical partners in advancing our education goals for the Commonwealth.
Over the next few years, the Centers will continue to support the K-12 RTTT plan as well as the implementation of our Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge plan. In addition, the Centers will support the EOE educator preparation initiative that my colleague, Jill Norton, described in her recent post.
It is a continual privilege to work with the Executive Directors of the Readiness Centers, and on behalf of Secretary Reville, I would like to thank our public colleges and universities in particular for serving as the lead conveners in each region. I am always impressed by everyone’s unequivocal commitment to working together to achieve our common goals, and along with my colleagues at the Departments of Early Education and Care, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Higher Education, I look forward to doing amazing work during the 2012 – 2013 academic year and beyond.
For additional information about the Readiness Centers initiative, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 617.979.8351. The primary contacts for the Readiness Centers are as follows:
Douglas McNally, Executive Director
Pioneer Valley Readiness
Andrew Churchill, Executive Director
Nadya Higgins, Interim Contact
Greater Boston Readiness Center
Kevin Thurston, Executive Director
Northeast Regional Readiness Center
Christine Shaw, Executive Director