Woodrow Wilson Academy Names Nationally Recognized Education Innovator as First President of Cutting-Edge Graduate School
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May 29, 2018, 10:48 ET
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning (www.woodrowacademy.org) prepares for its July 1 launch as an independent not-for-profit institution following its three-year incubation at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the WW Academy's Board of Trustees today announced that Dr. James Tracy has been unanimously selected as the first president of the innovative new graduate school of education. Dr. Tracy is currently the Head of School at the Rocky Hill School, co-chair of the MassRobotics Work of the Future Committee, and the Senior Advisor to the Board of the Boston-based edtech accelerator LearnLaunch.
WW Academy President James Tracy
WW Academy President James Tracy
The Stanford University Ph.D., who originally dropped out from high school before earning his GED, is also a leading national voice on education innovation and the use of technology in school improvement.
"As the Woodrow Wilson Academy works to transform how prospective teachers are prepared and how tomorrow's learners are taught, it needs a president who brings a rich understanding in educator preparation, how k-12 classrooms currently operate, and what tomorrow brings for the classrooms of today. We were fortunate to find such a leader in Dr. Jim Tracy," said Carl Ferenbach, the chairman of the WW Academy Board and founder of the High Meadows Foundation.
"I am honored to accept this important post, building on Arthur Levine's and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's vision for how we transform teacher education to meet the demands and opportunities ahead," said Tracy, who will assume the role on July 1. "Change, in society as a whole and certainly in higher education, is both inexorable and unavoidable. It is essential that institutions like the Woodrow Wilson Academy are driving such change, ensuring that all teachers and learners are making the most of what the future holds."
The WW Academy, in collaboration with MIT, is reinventing teacher education for the 21st century. Teacher candidates progress through a problem-based, individualized, adaptive curriculum by mastering core teaching competencies. WW Academy students experience the challenge-based curriculum in a blended environment, including online and face-to-face learning. Candidates are also immersed in clinical settings throughout their formal education in both Boston-area public schools and outside-of-school-time (OST) environments. Throughout their first two years of teaching they receive continued mentoring and professional development.
Tracy assumes the Academy presidency as the institution of higher education prepares to welcome its first class of master's degree candidates. In late 2017, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved the Academy's application to establish a mastery-based graduate school of education. The followed approval from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to offer an initial, post-baccalaureate license for middle and secondary school teachers in biology, chemistry, and math.
The WW Academy's efforts are built, in part, on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's ongoing efforts in teacher and education leader preparation. Currently, the Foundation partners with five states—Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio—to offer the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships. Working with 28 universities in those states, the WW Foundation is redesigning teacher education to center on a master's degree program that integrates a yearlong clinical experience and three years of mentoring.
Earlier this year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced a major grant to support the Academy's efforts in mastery-based education and personalized learning. CZI joins the Amgen Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Simons Foundation, and several anonymous major donors that have supported the development of the WW Academy.