Massachusetts Education Commissioner to Recommend Declaring Boston Schools Underperforming

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Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley plans to ask his board on Tuesday to declare Boston’s public schools “underperforming,” a move that will allow the state to bring in a monitor to oversee efforts improvement in the district.

The recommendation fails to pursue a state takeover of the 49,000 student system. If the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approves the recommendation, it will go into effect on July 1.

The move comes after weeks of abortive negotiations between Riley and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu over developing a district improvement plan.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to reach agreement on provisions that would provide independent oversight to ensure the district reports its data accurately and transparently,” Riley wrote in a memo to the state board on Friday. . “Having reviewed the areas of alignment between the city/BPS and DESE that emerged from these discussions – which were substantial but ultimately insufficient – ​​as well as the feedback we heard from the community, at this time I am not recommending that the board place the district in receivership by designating it as a chronically underperforming district.

A searing review of the state last month highlighted a wide range of areas – including systemic dysfunction in its special education department, late school buses and ongoing compliance issues with learning programs. English – in which BPS has not made sufficient progress over the past two years. or lost ground.

The review also uncovered new issues, including issues with the accuracy of the data that the BPS was providing to the state. For example, it excluded absent buses from its late school bus report.


James Vaznis can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @globevaznis.

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