Education Innovation in Cumberland

Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee is one of Rhode Island’s most vocal advocates warning that shifting tax burdens from one community to another via a “funding formula” cannot produce true education reform and that more creative solutions are required.
At home, Mayor McKee looks to be helping practice what he preaches. From Sandy McGee of the Pawtucket Times

Michael Magee, director of the Office of Children and Learning, presented an update on what he called his “second 100 days in office” to the Town Council at Wednesday night’s meeting at Town Hall.
“I’m very pleased of what’s going on in that office,” said Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee. “We’re creating an environment that says education is important in our community. Education is the issue of our time.”
Magee said the office’s SAT preparation course, which partners Cumberland students with college graduate students from throughout the state, has proven successful.
“We’ve seen a 13 percent rise in SAT scores from students in the program,” Magee said. “We anticipate a much higher rise in the percentage next year.”
Magee also discussed the office’s new Youth Commission, which will consist of 14 Cumberland High School students who will act as youth ambassadors to the mayor’s office. The commission is scheduled to meet with the mayor in three weeks to discuss how Cumberland’s youth are affected by town decisions.
Officials at the Office of Children and Learning are also planning a “green map” program, where Cumberland High School students will receive geographic information system (GIS) software to collect maps and land surveys throughout town. The program will offer a new option for high school students in need of community service hours, a requirement for graduation.

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