BOSTON

Boston Teachers Union to Hold Meeting on Potential Receivership

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has been threatening receivership due to concerns about the performances of Boston schools in recent years

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Boston Teachers Union is holding an emergency meeting Monday about the potential for the state to take over the school district. It's a process known as receivership, and in a letter, the union calls it an "undemocratic, racist takeover scheme."

"As many of you are aware, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has been threatening for years an anti-democratic, racist takeover of our schools by putting us in Receivership," the union said in an email to its membership. "The threat is ramping up, with the possibility of a vote by the Board in less than two weeks."

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has been threatening receivership due to concerns about the performances of Boston schools in recent years.

Right now, if Boston doesn't improve 34 underperforming schools, the state education commissioner could step in.

The teachers union is scheduled to hold what it is calling an "emergency town hall" at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Two years ago, DESE announced a memorandum of understanding with Boston aimed at addressing what it called "persistent challenges" identified in a review of the district. DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley said in April that progress has been made on some of those issues, but concerns remain.

He decided to conduct a district review ahead of an update to state education board members.

The Pioneer Institute, an education think tank, is urging Massachusetts education officials to appoint a receiver to address what it calls the Boston Public School District’s “chronically low performing schools.”

Mayor Michelle Wu said earlier this year that Boston schools should not be placed under receivership. She said receivership would be "counterproductive" in light of some of the progress that is already being made.

"I continue to seek partnership with the state, welcome this chance to work with DESE on this review and will also continue to seek partnership with every entity across the city, every institution," she said.

Three Massachusetts districts -- Lawrence, Holyoke and Southbridge -- are currently under receivership, which involves the commissioner appointing a receiver tasked with leading the district and improving schools. Riley was previously the receiver in Lawrence.

The commissioner is able to appoint a receiver when the board designates a district as "chronically underperforming." That designation, according to DESE, is based on an analysis of "the findings of the most recent district review report, along with quantitative indicators such as promotion, graduation and dropout rates."

Contact Us