Scrolling Headlines:

UMass baseball falls to Boston College in a ‘wasted day’ -

March 30, 2017

Q&A: Jawad Awan, co-president of the Muslim Student Association -

March 30, 2017

Rally held outside Joint Ways and Means Committee meeting for tuition and fee freezes -

March 30, 2017

CEPA brings light to student activism at UMass -

March 30, 2017

Eco-Rep Program brings leadership and sustainability to the classroom -

March 30, 2017

Divest UMass proves student activism is alive and well -

March 30, 2017

From textbook prices to clean energy, MASSPIRG fights for many issues -

March 30, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse heads into Colonial Athletic Association play with confidence -

March 30, 2017

UMass track and field set to perform at CCSU Invitational to open spring season -

March 30, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse is riding the hot stick of Hannah Burnett -

March 30, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse rides winning streak into A-10 conference play -

March 30, 2017

‘The Salesman’ is an intense drama that deals with contemporary issues -

March 30, 2017

People’s Market: Independent, cooperative, ‘radical-minded’ -

March 30, 2017

We voted and they endure: Trump’s effect on the global community -

March 30, 2017

Why hasn’t the Equal Rights Amendment been ratified? -

March 30, 2017

Pay for your own round, Mr. President -

March 30, 2017

Report: UMass men’s basketball set to hire Matt McCall as next head coach -

March 29, 2017

Community talks education, immigrants’ rights, climate change with state senators -

March 29, 2017

Q&A: Khalif Nunnally-Rivera, an advocate for access and affordability for underrepresented students -

March 29, 2017

Plant-Based Nutrition club promotes healthier, sustainable diets on campus -

March 29, 2017

UMass and the city of Springfield cement partnership

Last November Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and University of Massachusetts Chancellor Robert C. Holub signed a long term partnership agreement aiming to stimulate the city’s slumping economy.

Along with University funding, a grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce totaled a combined $320,000 towards achieving the mission set forth by the city of Springfield and UMass. The partnership will mainly look to boost energy conservation and green fuels production that are available at UMass, but will also contribute much needed support to Springfield’s public school system.

Unemployment stands at 8 percent within the city, but with low proficiency ratings of 28 percent on MCAS scores, the future looks uncertain. Coupled with these low test scores, Springfield public school’s drop-out rate currently stands at 12.3 percent, four times the Massachusetts state average of 3.4 percent. Roughly half of the students attending these schools graduate within a traditional four year period.

Poverty has also had its crippling effect on the community’s education, as most students qualify for free or reduced priced meals.

The goal of the Chief of Grants Management in the school system is to allot federal resources, such as the grant received from the University, to fully educate all students and boost academic achievement.

SEI, or Sheltered English Immersion, is a program required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and is specially designed for students with limited English. Nearly a quarter of the students enrolled in Springfield’s public schools do not speak English as a first language. Training teachers in one of the four SEI categories is just one of the initiatives of Springfield public schools.

Additionally, resources will be used to increase the number of students who have to attend summer school. Another primary objective is to boost the low proficiency ratings of not only MCAS scores but the Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment (MEPA) and the oral test (MELA-O) as well.

The partnership between UMass  and the Greater Springfield area will also be geared toward nutrition education for low income families, continuing and professional education and youth development.

At the official ceremony held at the Old First Church of downtown Springfield, Paul Kostecki, vice chancellor for research and engagement at UMass reflected on what he hopes the partnership will accomplish.

Kostecki said, “Bringing education to the masses and developing the intellectual capital that we do on campus, to the society.”

Matt Sullivan can be reached mdsul0@student.umass.edu.

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