The BLOG: Voices

Why Gov. Baker should support continuing authority of school committees

Who wants regionalization of education authority, i.e., powerless local school committees or boards?

So far as we can tell, USED is colluding with HUD to eliminate local school committees/boards in favor of regionalization of education authority.

This idea has been in the works for years, as suggested by a report from former USED Secretary Duncan’s Equity and Excellence Commission.

Massachusetts parents and teachers would lose a great deal if this new bureaucratic idea were to be enacted. In no way could guidelines for the development of curriculum, test-transparency and teacher certification be arrived at in a way satisfactory to parents and teachers if the educrats’ plans for interference are on the blueprint and fine print of every ruling coming out of DESE. In addition, in no way could genuine local input be made for the advisability of charter schools in terms of the curriculum they may or may not promote. Democracy is endangered by this proposal.

We therefore think it necessary for parents, grand parents and teachers to spread the word among the grassroots and contact Governor Baker’s office. It is necessary for them to ask him to express his support for the continuing authority of local school committees in determining school policies.

But now also is the time to ask the governor to work for a genuine update of the pre-2003 MA social studies standards. Those standards favor the understanding of our founding principles and shouldn’t be displaced by so called “global standards” of political activism.

Civic participation is ultimately grounded at the city/town/district/state/federal levels and we believe the principles and history of the Massachusetts and the U.S. constitutions need to be front and center of what we teach our students. We must refocus and prioritize the understanding of rule of law, limited government as manifested (imperfectly sometimes) in Massachusetts and American history. At stake is the much-justified interest in promoting civic participation for all socio-economic groups in the Commonwealth.

Michael Gendre, MA PIE President
Cindy Curcio, MA PIE Secretary
Dave McGeney, 20-year veteran of Peabody School Committee, “Lifetime Achievement” Recipient of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees