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Governor Patrick Visits Framingham’s Joseph P. Keefe Technical School to Highlight Importance of Career Readiness Programs

January 4, 2012

Senator Karen Spilka and Governor Deval Patrick at today’s visit to the Joseph P. Keefe Technical School in Framingham

FRAMINGHAM – Governor Deval Patrick today visited the Joseph P. Keefe Technical School in Framingham to outline the “Career Readiness” piece of the Administration’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda announced this past fall. During his visit, the Governor saw first-hand how non-traditional learning methods, such as internships and on-the-job training, have proven successful in helping students succeed post-graduation.

“Keefe’s successful model of integrating academics and on-the-job experience is what we hope our Gateway Cities Education Agenda will address in cities across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “I congratulate the students and leadership at Keefe in proving that career readiness can lead to countless post-graduation opportunities.”

During the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Education Summit in November, Governor Patrick unveiled the Gateway Cities Education Agenda, a set of strategies aimed at eliminating those deep and persistent achievement gaps that disproportionately affect children living in poverty, students of color, students with disabilities and students who are English language learners.

This plan will deliver a set of five principles and action items that will close achievement gaps more quickly and effectively and also result in the development of a stronger, more comprehensive 21st Century public education system: (1) getting every child to reading proficiency by the third grade; (2) providing every child with a healthy platform for education; (3) creating a differentiated education system that meets each student, particularly English Language Learners, where they are; (4) preparing all students for college and career success; and (5) seeding and incentivizing innovation.

Each of these goals will be represented by a pilot program, to be offered to several gateway cities on a competitive grant basis, which will be included in the Governor’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal.

“I am very proud of this school and the work it does to educate and train such a diverse group of students, many of whom live in my district,” said Senator Karen Spilka. “Vocational schools, like the Joseph P. Keefe Technical School, provide students with the skills they need to be successful members of the workforce and fill the jobs that drive our state’s economy. Through a variety of hands-on programs, they are helping these students discover their true talents so they may succeed to their full potential. I applaud their dedication to instilling a desire for lifelong learning – whether it be in an educational or occupational environment.”

“As House Chairwoman of the Education Committee, I recognize the importance of vocational technical education in increasing college and career readiness amongst our students,” said Representative Alice H. Peisch. “In today’s economic climate, training in both academics and technical skills are essential in order to compete with a global workforce.  I hope to continue our support of vocational technical education in order to help educate the Commonwealth’s diverse student population, and to better prepare them for success in the 21st century economy.”

“The Gateway Cities Education Agenda is one of those programs that illuminate the Governor’s innovative approach to advancing the Commonwealth’s educational opportunities,” said Representative Chris Walsh. “Quality education has been proven to be the most direct line to a strong and broad based economy, good work force development and a high quality of life for our residents. The Governor choosing to speak at Keefe Tech in Framingham is a clear indication of how important the MetroWest is to the overall success and importance of education in the state.”

The Joseph P. Keefe Technical School is a four-year high school, serving approximately 675 students from Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton and Natick. The Keefe school belongs to the South Middlesex Regional Vocational Technical School District and offers both academic and career-focused programs.

“Keefe Tech plays a critical role in the MetroWest area educating students for success beyond high school,” said Representative David Linsky. “Keefe Tech offers students many diverse programs which have evolved over the years as the workforce needs have changed. The school does an incredible job preparing students for after graduation, and I take great pleasure in welcoming Governor Patrick to Keefe Tech. I look forward to his next visit.”

“Keefe Tech and schools like it are an essential part of preparing our students for the workforce,” said Representative Tom Sannicandro. “Keefe Tech not only prepares students for college but also with employable skills. From programs in electrical and health careers, to plumbing and early childhood education, students who graduate are ready to pursue jobs in high demand and stable fields. Technical education is essential to a complete jobs agenda.”

Keefe’s academic component provides a more traditional program for students interested in a full college preparatory curriculum as well as general courses and English language learning courses. The vocational program component consists of a freshman exploratory year, followed by three years of preparation in one of fourteen different career and technical areas. Beginning in the tenth grade, an alternating week schedule of vocational and academic instruction is introduced. Cooperative education training (similar to an internship) is available to qualifying juniors and seniors.


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