WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/359840

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Page 131 of 219

"Quality education shifts kids' perspectives from disempowered concern about what the world will do to them to empowered confidence about the impact they can have on the world," says Excel Academy supporter Steve Mugford of the life-changing benefits of education. "My dad was the first in his family to go to college and as a kid I saw firsthand the power of education to dramatically alter a person's life path." Steve points to Excel Academy's combination of rigorous operating practices, data-driven systems, and passionate commitment of teachers as attributes of the three middle schools' success. "The fact that Excel kids outperform the kids from every town in Massachusetts — including from our highly educated, affluent towns of Wellesley and Weston — on the eighth grade MCAS, demonstrates what is possible." Closing the Opportunity Gap 130 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 4 Massachusetts State Representative Alice Peisch Aims to Unite Fans and Foes of Charter Schools Behind Educational Reform Massachusetts State Representative and House Education Chair Alice Peisch favors limited expansion of charter schools by proven providers in the lowest performing districts, as well as increasing flexibilities for these districts so they can improve performance more quickly. The bill she introduced — "H.4091: An Act Relative to Improving Student Achievement"— aims to bring on board charter school opponents by proposing a modest lift on the cap on charter schools specifically in the state's lowest-performing districts. And it requires an opt-out lottery system or enrollment of a student body of which 75 percent are dropouts or at risk of dropping out. Representative Peisch explains her commitment to educational reform for underserved urban families, stating, "Bottom line, the goal is to increase the opportunities for all children to have access to a high quality public education. I agree with the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who states, 'I do not care if it is a charter school or a district school as long as the students are well served.'" C O U R T E S Y O F E X C E L A C A D E M Y C H A R T E R S C H O O L S ; P H O T O B Y N I C H O L A S M A N N

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