BOSTON, MA- Senator Edward M. Kennedy announced today that the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will receive $209,511 for the first year of a five-year grant under the Transition to Teaching Program of the Department of Education. The grant will fund the SouthCoast Teacher Corps Partnership, a collaboration among Umass Dartmouth, Fall River Public Schools, New Bedford Public Schools, and the SouthCoast Education Compact, that works to improve and strengthen the teacher workforce in both cities. Senator Kennedy, as ranking Democratic Senator on the Senate Health, Education and Pensions Committee, is a strong advocate for improving resources in the schools and giving the people of Massachusetts the tools they need to become teachers.
"Research shows that good teachers are the most important factor in the success of students in school," said Senator Kennedy. "One of our greatest challenges is to improve the recruitment, preparation, and retention of good teachers. The Transition to Teaching program was created with this goal in mind, and it helps ease the strain of teacher shortages by preparing recent college graduates and professionals to enter the classroom. I commend the SouthCoast Teacher Corps Partnership for their outstanding proposal that will benefit New Bedford and Fall River, those interested in becoming teachers, current teachers, and especially the students. I look forward to seeing the results of the grant, such as increased teacher retention and improved student achievement, in the years ahead."
"This collaboration between the University and the community is critical to creating educational opportunities for the sons and daughters of New Bedford and Fall River,'' UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "It all begins with great teaching, and this grant advances our effort to build a first-rate corps of math and science teachers who will educate and inspire thousands of students in our SouthCoast cities."
CONTACT: Melissa Wagoner/Keith Maley