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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Advisory Council Membership: Reappointments and New Appointments

To:Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:September 17, 2009


Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 15, Section 1G directs the Board to establish advisory councils in a number of different areas. In the 2009-2010 school year there will be 17 advisory councils to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, including the most recently established (2008) advisory council on school and district accountability and assistance. The other continuing councils are: adult basic education, arts education, community service learning, educational personnel, educational technology, English language learners/bilingual education, gifted and talented education, global education, interdisciplinary health education and human services, life management skills, mathematics and science education, parent and community education and involvement, racial imbalance, special education, technology/engineering education, and vocational technical education.

The purpose of the advisory councils is to advise the Commissioner and the Board on matters pertinent to the implementation of education reform in the Commonwealth and to provide programmatic recommendations, as councils deem necessary, to accomplish the goals and priorities established by the Board and the Department or to meet federal or state requirements. The councils have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 members with the number determined by the Department, unless specified in law. Members are appointed for a term of three years and may be appointed for a second consecutive three-year term. The members serving on councils may be school committee members, school superintendents, professional educators, parents or students. The statute calls for councils to have a reasonable balance of members representing business, labor, civic, educational, parental and professional groups, striving for diversity and geographic balance. The Commissioner appoints the chairperson or co-chairs for each council.

A Department administrator and liaison work with each council chairperson in scheduling the council meetings, generally four per year, depending on the needs and business of the council. The meetings are open to the public and are posted on the Department's advisory council website. Each council submits an annual report to the Commissioner on current issues that are relevant to the goals and objectives of the Board and Department.

Invitations to apply for appointment to a 2009-2010 advisory council were posted in the Commissioner's update and disseminated by Department administrators and advisory council liaisons through council activities. Applications were encouraged from educators, parents, students, community members, school committee members, higher education personnel, and business leaders who have demonstrated interest in and commitment to educational improvement as well as the knowledge, skills, and experience in the subject matter of the advisory council of interest. The Department received approximately 100 applications. All applications have been reviewed by advisory council administrators and liaisons and senior staff.

I am submitting the attached list of recommendations for discussion at the September Board meeting and for a vote at the October meeting. I am recommending that the Board appoint or reappoint the nominees as indicated. The categories represent the stage of membership:

  • "Maintains" - members who are in years 1 to 3 of either their first or second term or are designated members by statute - provided for informational purposes

  • "Reappoints" - applicants recommended to serve a second three-year term

  • "Recommends" - applicants nominated to serve their first three-year term

I am also submitting the 2008-2009 Advisory Councils' Annual Reports to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. In November 2008 Chair Banta and I hosted an event in Worcester to which all advisory councils were invited and charged them to present recommendations from each council on the Board's and Commissioner's Working Goals and Priorities, the Task Force on 21st Century Skills report, and Governor Patrick's Readiness Project report. Each council's annual report includes a summary of the 2008-2009 work of the council, recommendations to the Commissioner and Board, council leadership and membership, and meetings held. A companion document, compiled by the Department, includes a summary of the recommendations as presented by the councils in the priority areas.

Last Updated: September 17, 2009
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