WORCESTER, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Governor Deval Patrick today visited with students and staff at the Dynamy Youth Academy in Worcester to learn more about the school’s intensive approach to ensuring student success and to highlight the Administration’s accelerated efforts to close the educational achievement gap. Governor Patrick has named closing the achievement gap and strengthening schools as a top second term priority along with reducing youth violence, controlling health care costs, and creating jobs.

“The students and teachers at Dynamy Youth Academy demonstrate how we can use innovative learning techniques to achieve student success,” said Governor Patrick. “We have a moral responsibility to close the achievement gap and we cannot be satisfied until every child has an opportunity to succeed.”

Founded in 1989, the Dynamy Youth Academy is an experience-based, four-year, after-school leadership and college-access program designed to serve talented, low-income, at-risk students from Worcester public schools who are eager to go to college but who are at risk of not reaching their full potential. Since the program’s inception, more than 125 students have graduated, and 92 percent of those students have gone on to college. Of that number, 73 percent have earned their Bachelor’s degree.

While at Dynamy Youth Academy, Governor Patrick also visited with educator Raquel Castro Corazzini who recently received a Lewis Hine Award for Service to Children & Youth Award from the National Child Labor Committee.

Massachusetts leads the nation in education reform and student achievement, and the Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to continuing the progress made over the past four years. The Governor has invested in education at historic levels and intends to fully implement measures outlined in his landmark Achievement Gap Act of 2010, which gives schools new tools to accelerate the turn-around of the state’s lowest performing schools.

The Achievement Gap Act also promotes school choice by expanding the number of charter schools in the state while authorizing new Innovation Schools. The state’s efforts will be bolstered by the Commonwealth’s successful Race to the Top proposal which earned the highest score in the nation and $250 million to help implement education reform strategies.