"A strong school system is the "hub of the wheel" for making a city work", - says Thomas M. Menino, the Mayor of Boston. Education in Boston is a key point in the city development program. In fact, a good education system prepares the workforce of tomorrow and attracts large businesses looking for a place to locate.
Public schools in Boston have made a significant move forward with a Focus On Children program, elaborated by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Boston School Committee, and Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant. Adopted in 1996, this ambitious five-year education reform plan established new standards of effective teaching and learning, improved school climate and enabled to upgrade the facilities and classroom instruction. Nearly $300 million have been spent to build new schools in Boston and renovate others. The progress on school reform under Focus On Children has been recognized by national organizations such as the Annenberg Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the National Science Foundation. In August 2001 Boston Public Schools adopted Focus on Children II, a second five-year education reform plan that builds upon the successes of the previous five years.
Now, when school facilities have been upgraded, the primary focus is made on improvement of teaching and learning to enable all students to meet high standards. Each school now develops and maintains a Whole School Improvement Plan, a plan which directs all aspects of a school's work. The results of recent state and national tests show that the education reform plan is efficient and education in Boston is improving continuously. At nearly 80%, Boston leads the nation among major urban school districts when it comes to high school graduation and connecting children to post-secondary education. Boston has always been the center of education, offering s wide selection of schools and universities. With over thirty-seven colleges and universities, education in Boston has an intellectual and academic level virtually unmatched by any other American city. Whatever field you choose to endeavor, you can be assured there is a university in Boston to fill the need.
In 1636 Harvard College in Cambridge, with one professor and nine students, was chartered by the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Today, the name Harvard is an icon. The legacy of Harvard graduates includes seven American Presidents and world renowned notables in law and business, science and medicine, engineering and the arts.
A couple of miles from Harvard College, eastbound along Massachusetts Avenue, is the campus of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT has played a major role in engineering and technology development for the government and the private sector. A 1994 study reported that MIT graduates founded more 4,000 firms providing products and services, while employing more than a million people. Through 2002, 56 graduates and faculty members of MIT had been awarded Nobel Prizes.
Six miles from downtown Boston in Chestnut Hill, is the Gothic-style campus of Boston College. Boston College is one of the oldest Jesuit universities in the United States, and its president is the former chairman of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The Jesuits have maintained a major role in every department, however BC has developed as a multi-ethnic, diverse university, open to all faiths.
The fourth largest independent university in America is Boston University with over 3,000 faculties and nearly 30,000 students. The school offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees and includes a wide range of Colleges, from Fine Arts to Engineering, Law, Medicine, Music and so on. The urban setting enables students to enjoy the benefits of the city. Downtown theaters, shopping, the financial district, and Fenway Park are all a walk or a subway ride away.
Education in Boston is really very special. Whichever school you attend, you are a part of a bigger community of people from around the world. Boston is the international leading center of research and study. You will be studying among future leaders in politics, medicine, literature, and the performing arts.