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Massachusetts 2007 Grantee Abstracts

Grantee Name:Boston Plan for Excellence
Project Name:Boston Teacher Residency
Project Director:Jesse Solomon 617-227-8055
Partner Districts/LEAs:Boston Public Schools

The Boston Public Schools (BPS), in partnership with the Boston Plan for Excellence (BPE), launched the Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) as its own teacher preparation, recruitment and retention program. BTR enables BPS to recruit the right people to be part of its new teacher force, to prepare those people to meet the district's needs, to support them to stay in teaching, and in so doing, to raise the quality and consistency of the new teacher pool. BTR recruits from a wide range of backgrounds, focusing on three target groups - recent college graduates from top universities, career changers from other professions, and people who have demonstrated a commitment to the city of Boston. BTR actively seeks people with backgrounds in math and science, and candidates of color. BTR participants, called Teacher Residents, spend four days each week for a full year with a Mentor teacher learning to teach in a BPS school. They gain authentic, relevant urban classroom experience; a deep knowledge of the district's curriculum and instructional practices; an awareness of the history and context of Boston and its public schools; and a strong commitment to Boston and to teaching its children as a long-term career choice. Residents take courses in the summers, on Fridays and after-school. They earn a Massachusetts Initial Teacher License, a master's degree from UMass/Boston and dual licensure in special education. They receive a living stipend and health insurance during their preparation year. They commit to teach for at least three years in BPS following their preparation. BTR will support a total of 530 participants (80, 95, 115, 120, and 120 in years 1-5 respectively).

Grantee Name:University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Project Name:TEACH! SouthCoast
Project Director:Karen O'Connor 774-929-3002
Partner Districts/LEAs:Fall River and New Bedford School Districts

The SouthCoast Partnership for the Journey into Education and Teaching (JET) is a community-based, inter-collegiate collaboration led by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, with Bristol Community College, Lesley University, and the Fall River and New Bedford school districts and their respective Paraprofessional Unions. These partners are joining together to address the shortages of highly qualified teachers with special education competencies to teach in inclusion classrooms in these two high poverty urban districts. JET will attend to both immediate and long-term district needs to create and institutionalize a pipeline for recruiting a diverse population of qualified teacher candidates that will continue beyond the grant funding cycles. Over five years a total of 125 participants will be recruited; each year a cohort of up to 25 teacher candidates will be recruited from the substantial number of over 500 highly qualified paraprofessionals currently employed in the two low performing, high-need school districts. These teacher candidates will transition to teaching through a joint admissions bachelor's degree leading to initial certification in elementary education, with integrated seminars in special education. The program design enables students to have individualized plans that match their developmental needs yet still be part of the cohort. Tuition and related educational expenses such as books, laptop computers, parking fees and childcare will be covered by the MA Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant Program. Educational expenses for the post-baccalaureate work to fulfill certification requirements will be covered by the JET program. As new teachers, participants will be provided professional support through an established beginning teacher network and e-mentoring program provided by the Center for University, School and Community Partnerships.

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Last Modified: 04/10/2008