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Massachusetts receives $4 million Gates Foundation grant

Massachusetts has been named one of five recipients nationwide that will receive a $4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Commonwealth will use the funds for educator preparation programs, officials said.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced
Thursday in a statement that the money will be utilized over three years to launch "Elevate Preparation: Impact Children," a program to enhance first-year teachers' performance to the equivalent of third-year teachers by 2022.

Through the program, the department will work with the state's 71 initial teacher preparation programs to "deepen the quality of and extend teacher candidates' training in the field," the statement said.

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The education department is also seeking to use the grant toward supporting data-driven analysis of graduates' outcomes, as well as integrating the efforts of educator preparation providers and partners.

"Given that improvement in teacher performance is steepest at the beginning of an educator's career, advancing individual teacher readiness holds great promise for making a long-term impact on students," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester.


Lauren Fox can be reached at lauren.fox@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurenbfox.