|For Immediate Release|
|Monday, September 24, 2007|
|Contact:||Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106|
Public Input Invited As Education Commissioner Search Gets Underway
MALDEN - Board of Education Chairman Paul Reville has arranged for multiple opportunities for the public to have input in the Board's nationwide search for the state's next Commissioner of Education.
David P. Driscoll retired on August 31, after 43 years in public education, including eight as the state's Commissioner of Education. The Board of Education is responsible for selecting his replacement.
"We are searching for not just a successor to Commissioner Driscoll, but for one of the nation's top educational leaders," Reville said. "Our goal is to find someone committed to vigorously building on the success Massachusetts has already achieved, while boldly leading the Commonwealth into the next phase of Education Reform. This process will not be easy, but it is important, and will be done right."
To help inform the Board about what the public sees as the priorities in public education today, several opportunities to comment – either in person or in writing - have been arranged:
- On Wednesday, Sept. 26, the Board of Education will hold a special meeting, which will be open to the public, to discuss the Commissioner's search. This will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Springfield from 7-9:30 p.m.
- On Thursday, Sept. 27, the Board of Education will hold an open forum at Central High School in Springfield from 3-5 p.m. Any member of the public is welcome to attend and to sign up to speak for up to 3 minutes.
- On Friday, Sept. 28, we will hold a series of focus groups with leaders in education and invited members of stakeholder groups including superintendents, teachers, parents and students.
- On Friday, October 5, we will hold a second open forum at Gardner Auditorium at the Statehouse, from 3-5 p.m. This will also be open to the public, and anyone who signs up to speak will be heard.
- The National Association of School Boards of Education (NASBE), the firm hired to manage the search process, has set up an email account to allow people to send in written comment. This address is MAsearch@nasbe.org. All comments sent to this email account will be read and included as part of the public commentary.
The Board of Education will finalize a job description by late October. Reville said he hopes to have the job posted nationally by early November, and to begin interviews by December.
In the interim, Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Nellhaus was named Acting Commissioner by the Board this summer, and stepped in on September 1.
"My goal is to find an exceptional leader for our system and our children, who will work with me, the Board and all of the central constituents in the education world," he said. "Just as importantly, our next Commissioner must be someone relentlessly committed to ensuring that all of the children in the Commonwealth, including my own, are educated in the highest quality, highest achieving public schools in the nation."