BOSTON (State House News Service) — Members of the Boston Teachers Union plan to rally outside the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Malden on Tuesday, ahead of a meeting where state officials are set to vote on declaring Boston an underperforming district.
Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley is seeking the designation, which will require the district to submit an improvement plan for state approval and allow him to appoint an accountability monitor. A report released in May found the Boston schools continues to fall short of an "acceptable minimum standard" in critical areas, including transportation and special education.
Riley's recommended intervention stops short of full state receivership, and the school committee and superintendent would still run the district. He wrote in a memo to the board that the move wouldn't foreclose a potential future receivership, though, if Boston does not "correct the serious deficiencies" the state has identified.
"The educators, families and students who make up Boston's school communities know best what our students and our schools need," Boston Teachers Union President Jessica Tang said in a statement. "Instead of applying unhelpful labels and top-down measures to districts in need of support, the state should be focused on collaboration, partnership and a more democratically driven process to improve academic outcomes."
The union has been in contract negotiations with the city. The 8 a.m. Tuesday rally is billed as a way for participants to support both the BTU's contract priorities and take a stand against state intervention.
Written by Katie Lannan/SHNS