2010 Public Service Awardee

Associate Professor Lisa M. Gonsalves

Share |

Lisa M. Gonsalves, Ph.D.

Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Professor GonsalvesDr. Gonsalves is being honored for her exemplary public service demonstrated through her passionate concern with issues of access and equity in education that profoundly influenced school policies in Boston. 

Her work on the Student Assignment Task Force, Teach Next Year and participation on the Superintendent Search Committee are but a few of the examples of Professor Gonsalves' dedication that is continually recognized by school and community officials for the scholarship and professional development she champions.

 Professor Gonsalves' Biography:

Dr. Gonsalves is director of Teach Next Year, an experiential urban school-based route to earning a master's degree in education and initial teacher licensure. The program prepares education students for careers as future teachers by placing them in an urban classroom, where they gain hands-on teaching and community experiences by serving as tutors, co-teachers, student teachers, and, eventually, full-time teachers.

One of the first teacher residency programs in the country, Teach Next Year began at the Dorchester Education Complex. It has since expanded to six middle and high schools in Boston, the Dotwell community initiatives, and the Randolph Public Schools. The program has been recognized nationally.

Dr. Gonsalves began her work with the Boston Public Schools (BPS) in 1996, beginning with the Jeremiah Burke High School and Dorchester High School. She now works with schools at all levels, from elementary through high school. 

The in-depth ethnographic work Dr. Gonsalves and her graduate students did at Dorchester High School - a groundbreaking study of the impact of educational reform on a single high school - was published in book form in 2007, titled, New Hope for Urban High Schools.

Dr. Gonsalves has also served on several committees and task forces that have had a powerful impact on the path of reform in BPS.

In 2003, Dr. Gonsalves was called to serve on the Student Assignment Task Force to access the public's opinions concerning student school assignments in Boston and to make recommendations to the Boston School Committee.  Dr. Gonsalves designed and developed the research protocol the task force used to seven different models of student assignment for Boston, and presented the models at community forums. Dr. Gonsalves' analysis revealed that the policy of having 25 percent of the neighborhood children attending their neighborhood school was not being followed. This led to key changes in the assignment formula that allowed more children to attend their neighborhoods schools.

She also served on the Quality Work Group, exploring the notion of quality schools in greater depth and determining and recommending quality indicators to the school committee. She was a major contributor to the "Indicators for Success" chart developed by the group.

Dr. Gonsalves conducted one of the first error analyses of BPS students' responses on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exam.  This work was widely used to shape curricular policy around MCAS preparation in Boston Public Schools as well as statewide.  Dr. Gonsalves continues to work with teachers in BPS K-12 schools, helping them to make sense of student MCAS responses and to design stronger instructional approaches for critical thinking.

In 2006, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino appointed Dr. Gonsalves to serve on the Superintendent Search Committee that ultimately recruited Dr. Carol Johnson to replace Dr. Thomas Payzant.

Dr. Gonsalves is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction at the College of Education and Human Development at UMass Boston. She earned her Ph.D. at Boston College

Public Service Awards 2010

Public Service Awards 2009