The Gateway Cities Journal
News and information for leaders who care about Gateway Cities


Pay, don't punish, community colleges for dual-enrollment


As we make our away around the state sharing the Gateway Cities Vision with civic leaders, we're learning more about how Gateway Cities can benefit from collaborative efforts to advance education policy. Here's one example from our meeting last week in Fitchburg:


Providing high school students with early college experiences is a tried-and-true approach for creating stronger college and career pathways, a central focal point in the Gateway Cities Vision. Most early college designs rely on dual enrollment, which allows students to take college-level courses and earn credit toward both high school and post-secondary degrees.


Dual enrollments are rising in many states where funding mechanisms give schools districts and public colleges strong incentives to create them. But in Massachusetts, not only is dual enrollment woefully underfunded, we've actually created a disincentive for community colleges to participate. As Meg Aki, our talented intern from Northeastern writes in a blog entry this week, leading states are giving colleges credit for success with dual enrollment in their funding formulas. But here, the move to performance-based funding to community colleges, based on students' completion rates, actually discourages dual enrollment.


State education leaders including Commissioner Freeland have sought more attention and funding for dual enrollment. These programs would disproportionately benefit Gateway Cities. Gateway City leaders can work together to support the policy change we need to give more students high-quality early college experiences. 





Gateway City leaders are encouraged by the extension the Joint Committee on Economic Development granted to the Gateway Cities economic development bill this week.


A week out from the deadline to start construction on a $1.6 billion dollar public-private investment in redeveloping downtown Quincy, developer Street-Works withdraws from the project. The future of the massive redevelopement project is now in doubt.


Mayor Daniel Rizzo boasts that, although Revere's improved bond rating may not be "sexy," it does indicate significant savings for taxpayers.


Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter hosts the heads of three public higher ed institutions to discuss bringing a combined satellite campus to the city's downtown.




U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visits Worcester to meet with education and business leaders. A group of residents protested the event over the new PARCC assessment, which the city is piloting. And President Obama announces he's coming to town to deliver the commencement address at Worcester Tech.


Tim Garvin sends us a link to more new research on the benefits of social-emotional supports. We take a look at the study and pick up on the Child Trends blog examining the social-emotional benefits of dual language learning, another Gateway City Education Vision model.


Fall River expands charter school enrollment with 1,227 additional seats. The Herald covers implications for the city.


The YMCA South Coast in New Bedford receives an early education grant of $50,000 to improve existing programs.


Under state receiver Jeff Riley's control, the Lawrence schools are showing early progress, WBUR reports.


Acting on the recommendation ofMayor Kim Driscoll and the school superintendent, the Salem School Committee votes to explore handing the Level 4 Bentley School over to a private firm.




The Atlantic Cities reports on branding transit in Rochester. Interested in this topic? Take a look at our Reinventing Transit report.


WalkBoston will present Malden with the Golden Shoe award for its creative and successful efforts to make the city a more pedestrian friendly and accessible place. 


Pittsfield accepts $350,000 in federal highway funds to begin needed traffic improvements around the Berkshire Medical Center.


Construction of a new road as part of Attleboro's plan for downtown revitalization is set to begin this spring.


Fitchburg is using this year's Community Development Block Grants for a natural play area and streetscape improvements, among other projects.




Fitchburg s discussing switching over to LED streetlights, which have longer lifespans and lower failure rates than the current, conventional lighting.


Powdermill Village in Westfield will be receiving $3 million dollars in energy updates provided by MassHousing and Boston Community Capital.


The Eagle-Tribune's Shawn Regan contrast Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini's state of the city address with a potential new storm water fee and hike in sewer rates to mitigate local river pollution.




The Globe profiles Taunton as it copes with a startling increase in heroin overdoses in the past year.


Governor Deval Patrick visited Nuclea Biotechnologies in Pittsfield. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awarded the company  $510,775 in tax incentives earlier this year.




A new WBUR poll conducted by The MassINC Polling Group shows that less than half of likely voters in this November's election support casino gambling in Massachusetts.


New Bedford officials have asked for an extension from the state Gaming Commission as they negotiate a host agreement for a proposed waterfront casino.


Meanwhile, headway is being made on the Fall River casino project. Mayor Flanagan announced that Foxwoods Resort and Casino has purchased 30 acres of land in Fall River for development.


Revere hosted a forum with North Shore elected officials and business leaders to discuss the regional economic impact of the planned casino at Suffolk Downs.  But the Massachusetts Historical Commission is worried about the proposed demolition of the horse barns at the race track.



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