3rd Local Stakeholders Group Meeting

Start: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 3:00 PM

Thank you for continuing to support the campaign to create the schools that Holyoke children deserve. There is no denying the disappointment caused by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education when it ignored the testimony it heard at its public hearing last month and approved placing Holyoke Public Schools into state receivership.

But that vote cannot dampen our will to keep demanding schools that meet the needs of all children and provide every student the opportunity to receive a well-rounded education.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education could have taken any one of several other approaches to helping Holyoke Public Schools, but instead went with the most extreme option. We must now make it our responsibility to hold Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester and the receiver that he appoints accountable for the schools we have said are necessary _ schools that have small class sizes and adequate resources; schools that take advantage of the community’s diversity; schools where all are respected and educators are allowed to exercise their professional judgment.

We need to let Commissioner Chester know that we are looking at more than test scores to judge student achievement.

The biggest mistake we could make now is to sit back and let Commissioner Chester and his receiver go about their work unchecked. Just recently, Chester announced that the time has come to sever ties with Project GRAD, the Texas corporation he brought in to manage Dean Tech and the Morgan School. Once again under the guidance of the state, school goals were not met and students will face disruptive changes.

We urge you to attend the Local Stakeholder Group meeting The LSG will be weighing in on the receiver’s turnaround plan for Holyoke Public Schools. This is a select group approved by the Commissioner, and its meetings are open to the public. We must influence the group’s work.