Step UP: A New Vision for School-University Partnerships

Three years ago, the Office of the Mayor set out to assist the Boston Public Schools in closing the achievement gap. Five distinguished universities-- Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Northeastern, and Tufts -- were charged with the task of launching Step UP, a city-wide project that directs key resources from some of Boston's top universities to 10 Boston Public Schools. The goal: to give our city's students the best education possible and to help them reach their full potential.

Welcome from Mayor Menino

The Boston Public Schools has made great strides in improving student achievement over the past decade. New schools have been built, successful programs have been expanded, and entire school communities have been energized and focused on ensuring that every child reaches proficiency.  But we strive to do even better for Boston’s children and, as Superintendent Carol Johnson has noted, our schools cannot do it alone. Partnerships are critical to Boston’s school reform effort.

In 2006, I stood with the presidents of the city’s five leading research universities – Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Tufts University – to launch the Step UP initiative. The Boston School Committee, Superintendent Johnson, and I are working closely with our Step UP partners to make this a model partnership between universities and public schools – one in which real results will be reflected in the classroom. Parents and communities are also critical to this task. So I invite you all to join us as we Step UP to support Boston schools.

- Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston


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