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RI Speaker, Reps Visit Worcester Tech for Ideas to Improve Tech Ed

Saturday, April 12, 2014

 

Several Rhode Island legislators visited Worcester Technical High School on Friday seeking ideas to strengthen technical career education in Rhode Island.

House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello, Rep. Lisa P. Tomasso (D-Dist. 29, Coventry, West Greenwich), Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport, Middletown) and Rep. Patricia L. Morgan (R-Dist. 26, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) visited the facility to get a firsthand look at a technical school that has received national attention for its innovative programs, community and business partnerships and its remarkable turnaround from one of its city’s lowest-performing schools to one of the best in the country.

The legislators, who were joined by Rhode Island small-business leaders Gary Ezovski of Lincoln Environmental Properties in North Smithfield, Ronald Caniglia of STAND Corporation in Warwick, and Robert Baldwin of R.B. Homes in Lincoln, toured the school to gather ideas that could be used to help Rhode Island technical schools achieve similar success.

24 career and technical programs

Worcester Technical High offers 24 career and technical programs that include bio-science, allied health, veterinary, automobile, telecommunications, electrical, construction, cosmetology, carpentry, plumbing and advanced manufacturing services. Its $90 million, 400,000-square-foot campus includes features such as a public veterinary clinic partnered with Tufts University, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and large-scale graphic-design equipment. The school’s campus includes many facilities that serve the public, and the school partners with local businesses, nonprofits and higher-education institutions to allow students real-world learning opportunities.

Principal Dr. Sheila Harrity – the 2014 MetLife National Association of Secondary School Principals National High School Principal of the Year and a Providence College graduate – told the group about the progress that has put their school on the map, most notably its 96-percent graduation rate, up from 35 percent in 2006. In 2006, only 27 percent of the school’s students were proficient in English and 35 percent in math, while in 2013 the students reached 92 percent proficiency in English and 84 percent in math. Now, 77 percent of its graduates go on to college. 

Top public education facility

The school was recognized in 2006 by School Planning and Management magazine, rating the facility as the No. 1 public education facility in the nation, and in 2011, the school was selected as a MetLife National Association of Secondary School Principals Breakthrough School, a distinction given to five high schools from across the country for outstanding student growth in high-poverty areas. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited the school last month to hail its success, and President Obama, who has called for strengthened career and technical education, is slated to give the school’s commencement address this June.

“It was great to see a successful combination of excellent college-preparatory courses and career technical learning provided to students,” said Speaker Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston). “This school is an incredible example of the opportunities that become available to students when schools reach out to the community and forge relationships with businesses, universities and other organizations.” 

 

Related Slideshow: Which Central MA School Districts Spend the Most Per Pupil?

Based on 2012 data from the Massachusetts Department of Education, these are the 25 Central MA school districts--ranked lowest to highest--that spend the most per pupil.

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25.

Quabbin Regional School District

District Type: Regional Academic

Avg. Pupil Membership: 2,830.7

Total Expenditures: $34,378,737.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,145.00

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24.

Auburn Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 2,426.9

Total Expenditures: $29,634,526.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,211.00

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23.

Leominster Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 6,623.8

Total Expenditures: $81,029,058.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,233.00

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22.

Milford Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 4354.3

Total Expenditures: $53,488,678.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,284.00

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21.

Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District

District Type: Regional Academic

Avg. Pupil Membership: 2,124.9

Total Expenditures: $26,114,366.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,290.00

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20.

North Brookfield Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 695.1

Total Expenditures: $8,556,304.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,295.00

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19.

West Boylston Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1098.1

Total Expenditures: $13,598,549.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,384.00

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18.

Fitchburg Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 5,607.9

Total Expenditures: $71,113,538.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,681.00

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17.

Nashoba Regional School District

District Type: Regional Academic

Avg. Pupil Membership: 2,418.5

Total Expenditures: $31,184,543.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,894.00

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16.

Winchendon Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,635.4

Total Expenditures: $20,829,556.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,737.00

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15.

Webster Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,989.6

Total Expenditures: $25,442,291.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,786.00

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14.

Southbridge Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 2,418.5

Total Expenditures: $31,184,543.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,894.00

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13.

Tantasqua Public Schools

District Type: Regional Academic

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,786.8

Total Expenditures: $23,201,699.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $12,985.00

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12.

Hudson Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 3,079.9

Total Expenditures: $40,944,241.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $13,294.00

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11.

Millbury Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,814.9

Total Expenditures: $24,400,189.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $13,444.00

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10.

Worcester Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 27,227.2

Total Expenditures: $367,267,344.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $13,489.00

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9.

Athol-Royalston Regional School District

District Type: Regional Academic

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,883.4

Total Expenditures: $25,763,586.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $13,679.00

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8.

Ralph C Mahar Regional School District

District Type: Regional Academic

Avg. Pupil Membership: 938.0

Total Expenditures: $12,862,159.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $13,712.00

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7.

Northborough-Southborough Regional School District

District Type: Regional Academic

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,442.0

Total Expenditures: $20,043,904.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $13,900.00

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6.

Harvard Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,311.0

Total Expenditures: $18,333,578.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $13,984.00

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5.

Westborough Public Schools

District Type: Local School

Avg. Pupil Membership: 3572.1

Total Expenditures: $51,956,543.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $14,545.00

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4.

Berlin-Boylston Public Schools

District Type: Regional Academic

Avg. Pupil Membership: 505.8

Total Expenditures: $7,562,672.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $14,952.00

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3.

Southern Worcester County Regional Vocational 

District Type: Regional Vocational Technical 

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,080.7

Total Expenditures: $18,335,551.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $16,966.00

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2.

Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational School District

District Type: Regional Vocational Technical 

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,158.0

Total Expenditures: $19,838,191.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $17,131.00

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1.

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical

District Type: Regional Vocational Technical

Avg. Pupil Membership: 1,432.5

Total Expenditures: $24,755,451.00

Expenditures Per Pupil: $17,281.00

 
 

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