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Increasing access to high-quality summer learning

The Gateway Cities Journal

Next week, Rep. Alice Peisch will host a briefing on her new bill, An Act to Increase Access to High-Quality Summer Learning Opportunities. This legislation will give more students the chance to participate in high-quality summer learning programs all across our Commonwealth. Mayors and school leaders from Worcester, New Bedford, and Salem supported an earlier version of the bill, which was introduced in 2016 and progressed to the House Committee on Ways and Means before the session expired.

A growing body of research using randomized controlled trials, the “gold standard” method for proving that a program works, shows that high-quality summer learning leads to academic and social-emotional skill gains for students that persist into subsequent school years.

Recognizing the powerful difference summer learning can make, Mayor Walsh and the Boston Public Schools have made summer learning a citywide priority, setting and achieving a goal of serving 10,000 students in 100 high-quality programs. Rep. Peisch’s legislation would draw on Boston’s demonstrated success by helping Gateway Cities fashion community partnerships to provide high-quality summer learning experiences for students through cost-sharing agreements, leveraging financial support from the state, local school districts, private funders, and non-profit institutions.

Boston Afterschool & Beyond is a public-private partnership that has worked since 2005 to expand access to high-quality summer learning in Boston. We want these same opportunities to be available to youth throughout our Commonwealth, and we look forward to working with Gateway City leaders on legislation that will expand access. Please join us at the State House for Rep. Peisch’s presentation on March 16th at 10:30am, Room 350.

Chris Smith, Executive Director, Boston After School & Beyond 


Education

Comments are due to the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Read MassINC’s submission.

Graduation rates continue to rise in Fitchburg and Worcester.

Five Worcester high schools will offer a new AP diploma program starting next year.

Springfield’s “100 Males to College” program will expand to Worcester with help from a state grant.

Lowell considers moving its downtown high school to pave the way for development at that site.

Housing and Economic Development

The Transformative Development Initiative is renovating the former Skyplex nightclub in Springfield and looking for new tenants. TDI is also releases an RFP for the renovation of the Hotel Jess in Holyoke.

Worcester’s Wormtown Brewery is planning to more than double its Worcester’s facility’s square footage in order to increase its distribution and production capabilities.

Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo signals that the sale of Wonderland is “imminent”.

Quincy looks to balance the needs of longtime residents with the realities that come with rapid expansion and development.

Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus and State Attorney General Maura Healy tout Worcester rehabilitation efforts under the Abandoned Housing Initiative.

Governor Baker visits Brockton to celebrate the administration’s success reducing the number of homeless families in hotels in the city to zero.

After 44 years, Union Station in Springfield will reopen.

Worcester officials say the Massachusetts Port Authority is not excited about taking ownership of the Union Station as the city looks for someone to take the money-losing facility off its hands.

City Lab says Rust Belt cities should stop demolishing housing.

Governance

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau releases a new report looking at the cost of growing OPEB liabilities.

Lawrence and Chelsea file a lawsuit in federal court seeking to block the enforcement of President Trump’s executive order regarding sanctuary city funding.

Brockton city councilors are mulling a proposal to enact more stringent hiring practices to thwart potential discrimination following a $4 million judgment against the city in a lawsuit brought by an aggrieved applicant for a DPW position.

Governing looks at how smaller cities survive in an age of disruption.

Creative Placemaking/Communities & People

MassDevelopment and the O+ Festival Haverhill announce a crowdfunding campaign though the Commonwealth Places initiative.

MassCreative and Gateway Cities Caucus co-chair Sen. Eric Lesser push for An Act To Establish a Massachusetts Percent for Arts Program.

A video promotion for Eastern Bank’s Join Together 90 program captures the spirit of our Gateway Cities.

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