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Woodrow Wilson Academy Announces Partnerships with Five Leading Public School Districts

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Woodrow Wilson Academy Announces Partnerships with Five Leading Public School Districts

Collaboration with Boston-Area School Systems Designed to Ensure Academy’s Pre-Service, In-Service Teacher Education Meets Needs of 21st-Century Schools

CAMBRIDGE, MA (July 26, 2016) – Further demonstrating its commitment to developing teacher education efforts focused on what the teachers of tomorrow need to know and be able to do, the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning (WW Academy) today announced new strategic partnerships with five Massachusetts school districts. As WW Academy partners, these districts will help shape the development of the Academy’s teacher education programs, including clinical experience for prospective educators and in-service professional development offerings.

The WW Academy has established relationships with the school districts of Burlington, Cambridge, Natick, Revere, and Somerville. In addition to providing classroom-based experiences to WW Academy students, each of the districts has identified exemplary STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers to participate in the development of the WW Academy.

“We are delighted to have Burlington, Cambridge, Natick, Revere, and Somerville join us in this exciting effort to transform teacher development for the 21st century,” Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said. “Each of these districts stands as an innovator, committed to providing all their teachers with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the classrooms of the future.”

An initiative of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the WW Academy is developing competency-based master’s degree programs in teaching and school leadership in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With MIT, the Academy is also constructing the Walter Buckley Teaching and Learning Lab, which will serve as an incubator and innovation lab, studying what works and why in preparing teachers and education leaders, and offering new ideas and models to meet the needs of 21st-century schools.

“Burlington Public School District is excited to be a partner with the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning,” Burlington Public Schools Superintendent Eric Conti said. “The mission of the Academy aligns well with Burlington’s focus on achievement and innovation through dynamic teaching and leadership.  The competency-based STEM training programs recognize that the work of schools is done in the classroom.  By focusing their teacher development programs on best practices in high-need STEM areas, they are better preparing future teachers for the rigor and rewards of this challenging profession.  We look forward to working together to rethink education today and into the future.”

“The need for highly qualified STEM teachers in the public schools has never been greater,” Cambridge Public Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Young said. “Cambridge, MA—a hub of the STEM industry—is proud to partner with the WW Academy to strengthen teaching and learning in this critical area.  We are enthused about this work, not only for our teachers but also for our students, who will be the beneficiaries of this project and eventually the people who will fill those STEM jobs in our community.”

“Teachers prepared and confident to instruct in a 21st-century classroom is what districts are seeking and what Woodrow Wilson Academy will deliver. I predict their graduates will be in high demand,” Natick Public Schools Superintendent Peter Sanchioni remarked.

“We are excited to partner with the Woodrow Wilson Academy because we are constantly looking for innovative ways to meet the needs of all of our students,” said Revere Public Schools Superintendent Diane Kelly. “The experiences that pre-service educators have and the supports they receive during practical experiences have a significant impact on their beliefs and vision for how students learn and what students can learn.  These learning expectations then set the direction for instruction.  Over the past ten years, we have seen many important changes to STEM education.  The experiences students now need to have in K–12 STEM classrooms are significantly different than the ones we educators had as students.  As such, it is important to have thoughtful, well-developed educator preparation programs to highlight how STEM can best be taught and learned.  This work requires the collaboration of pre-service teachers with post-secondary educators as well as K–12 educators.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning Lab,” Somerville Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said. “With a focus on innovation and quality, and an emphasis on a competency-based teacher preparation program, we see the Academy as a potential game-changer in teacher preparation, development, and retention. The Academy will not only serve as an important resource for our teachers and school leaders, but it will also provide us with a pipeline of well-qualified STEM teachers to ensure that we lead the way in a rapidly changing educational arena.”

This summer, 22 teachers from these districts will be part of a summer design program designed to ensure WW Academy students have experienced educators to work with, mentors who can help bridge current school environments with new competency-based approaches. The mentorship efforts will be modeled after existing mentor experiences developed through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program currently offered in five states.

The WW Academy’s efforts are built, in part, on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s ongoing efforts in teacher and education leader preparation. Currently, the Foundation partners with five states—Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio—to offer the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships. Working with 28 universities in those states, the WW Foundation is redesigning teacher education to center on a master’s degree program that integrates a yearlong clinical experience and three years of mentoring. The Foundation is also working in three states—Indiana, New Mexico, and Wisconsin—on the WW MBA in Education Leadership Fellowships, using a similar model to identify, recruit, and prepare the next generation of education leaders.

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About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society. Today, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s more than 22,000 Fellows include 14 Nobel Laureates, 36 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Pulitzer Prize winners, two Fields Medalists, and a host of recipients of other awards.

About the Woodrow Wilson Academy for Teaching and Learning
The Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning seeks to transform teacher education by creating a model to prepare teachers and school leaders to succeed in the diverse classrooms of today and to shape and lead the schools of tomorrow.


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