Friday, May 3, 2013

0 Boston "School Quality Working Group" Members Announced

On Wednesday, May 1, 2013, the Boston Public Schools' (BPS) School Quality Working Group (SQWG) held their first meeting. This meeting was primarily to announce and introduce the members of the group. The SQWG was created out of the recommendations approved by the Boston School Committee (BSC) as part of the new student assignment plan (Home-Based A) in March 2013. The entire list of recommendations are available here.

According to the BPS website: 
Boston School Committee member Meg Campbell and Boston University School of Education Dean Dr. Hardin Coleman will co-chair the new School Quality Working Group, which is modeled on the External Advisory Committee on School Choice, which Dr. Coleman also co-chaired. The Working Group includes BPS parents, academic experts, and business and community leaders. It will continue to engage the community in the conversation on school quality that took place during our process to improve school choice. Their tasks include:
  • Helping to develop a better way to measure school quality for the Home-Based school choice model, which takes effect for the fall of 2014. Currently the Home-Based model uses MCAS Tiers, which are based on a combination of overall performance and growth as measured by MCAS.
  • Analyzing the implementation of the Home-Based school choice model, including measures of equity and school quality improvements
The members of the committee are:

Ron Ancrum- Executive Director, The Learning Center at Bromley Heath
Meg Campbell (co-chair) - BSC member, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Codman Academy *Charter Public School
Kathleen Colby -  BPS Ambassador, former BPS parent & EAC member
Hardin Coleman (co-chair) - see above
Michael Curry - President, NAACP Boston Chapter
Rahn Dorsey - Evaluation Director, the Barr Foundation & EAC member
Betty Francisco - EVP and General Counsel of Millenium Sports Club Management, wife of Paul Francisco (EAC member)
Denise Gonsalves - Director of Youth Leadership Development at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) 
Dr. William (Bill) Henderson - Former BPS teacher, principal of O'Hearn (now the Henderson) inclusion school, author of The Blind Advantage
Carolyn Kain - Current Chair, BPS SpedPAC & EAC member
Craig Lankhorst - former BPS principal & EAC member
Daniel Linsky - no confirmable information found
Meredith Liu - Chief Financial Officer of Match Charter School
Elaine Ng - Executive Director, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center & BPS Parent
Myriam Ortiz - Executive Director, Boston Parent Organizing Network (BPON) & BPS parent
Marchelle Raynor - former Boston School Committee member and Program Director, Gertrude E. Townsend Learning Program
Marinell Rousmaniere -  Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at EdVestors & BPS Parent
Mariah Smith - no confirmable information found
Anh Vu - no confirmable information found
Rev. David Wright - Executive Director of the Black Ministerial Alliance of greater Boston
Josh Weiss - BPS parent who submitted a school assignment proposal to the EAC, took part in many of the EAC meetings as a community member, as well as blogging throughout the school assignment process at

The above information regarding the members are not the official "bios" which BPS has requested from each of the members, but information obtained via prior BPS, EAC, BSC bios, through personal knowledge and relationships and with the help of others who know some of the members and was verified prior to writing this article. Once the official bios are available I will add a link to this post! 

In addition to the above tasks outlined on the new website, the group will most likely have some say in how to address quality issues in our Boston schools. The SQWG group, along with the BSC, holds the future of our students, the individual schools and the district as a whole, in their hands as they are charged with monitoring and assessing the new plan and the recommendations which may become district policies. 

As the families and advocates for our students and schools, we have an even more important role in this process: to monitor and assess the work of both the BSC and SQWG to ensure that all of our schools become quality schools and that access to those schools is equitable. I urge everyone, whether a current or potential BPS family, to follow this group and the work they do. When possible, attend the meetings (still TBA), ask questions, make suggestions and if concerned, let them know that too. 

"Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence." —Abigail Adams

I can be contacted at and please consider following me on Twitter: @bpsnightmare.


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