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September 17, 2009

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey testified with fellow members of the Leaders For Education coalition before the Joint Committee on Education at the State House in support of Governor Patrick's bills to raise the charter cap in underperforming districts and create new readiness schools on September 17. Readiness schools propose a new kind of teaching and learning experience built on the fundamental characteristics of successful schools: strong leadership, educator ownership, innovation and high expectations for student achievement. 

Read his testimony here (pdf, 34 kb)

Berkey serves on the steering commission of Leaders For Education which provides broad support for changes in public education and aims to put education reform back in a primary position at the Statehouse and among the state's public officials.   The coalition comprises business, civic and higher education leaders based in the Commonwealth.  The steering committee consists of 20 CEOs with the majority coming from the Boston-area; Berkey is the only Worcester-based CEO serving at this time.

Leaders For Education grew out of earlier efforts by the Great Schools Campaign/Mass Insight Education, the Massachusetts High Technology Council, and the Boston Foundation, each of which had developed similar strategies for transforming Massachusetts' education system in ways consistent with the global demands of the 21st century.

Dennis Berkey was appointed the fifteenth president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2004 following more than 30 years of service in a variety of higher education positions. He is an award-winning teacher and the author of several mathematics textbooks. His published research is in applied mathematics. Berkey was appointed by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts to serve as chair of its Executive Committee of college and university presidents in 2008. He also serves on numerous boards including UMass Memorial Health Care Inc., the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiative, the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Initiative, and Worcester's Research Bureau. Berkey is a member of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, and has previously served as a trustee of Muskingum College, the Dibner Institute for Science and Technology, and the Huntington Theatre.