MESSAGE FROM MARC KENEN, MASSACHUSETTS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION
Dear Charter friends,
The Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester today announced that he would be making a recommendation concerning the Brockton & Fitchburg charter school applications for the Board to vote onat their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
The Chair of the Board Margaret McKenna announced further that the Board of Ed would hold a special public hearing on this issue sometime beforeon a date/time/location TBD.
During the Commissioner's remarks he indicated he was closely reviewing the Department of Education's interpretation of the state law that prioritizes applications in the lowest 10% and has been cited by the department as their justification to disqualify the applicants.
The MCPSA and the Brockton and Fitchburg founding groups have argued to the Department of Education that they misinterpreted this law and mistakenly used it to disqualify the candidates.
Following the Chair and Commissioner's remarks, public comment turned to three speakers arguing against the applications including the Brockton and Fitchburg Superintendents and MTA President Barbara Madeloni.
Then supporters of the charter school applications were given the final three speaking slots: Beth Anderson, MCPSA Vice President and Phoenix Academy Charter School leader; Michael Sullivan from the Brockton founding group and Jennifer Jones from the Fitchburg Charter School. All three speakers did a wonderful job explaining the situation from their particular perspectives. I observed the Board of Ed. members listening quite attentively to all three of our speakers!
A big thank you to the many parents, leaders and supporters who came today! It was great turning the corner onto Pleasant Street and seeing a big crowd in front of the Department!
As soon as we know the date for the special public hearing, we'll be sure to pass it on!