|For Immediate Release|
|Monday, July 10, 2000|
|Contact:||Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126|
Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll Seeks Urgent State Action Against Majority of Lynn Public School Committee
Malden - "Lynn Public School Superintendent James Mazareas has brought to my attention a seven-month pattern of violations, by a four-member working majority of the Lynn School Committee, of both the law and spirit of the Education Reform Act. Some recent actions by this working majority are especially serious. The School Committee majority took a vote last week that led to the cancellation of several summer workshops to train 350 teachers in how to teach critical thinking skills for students, which is a key component of student academic achievement and MCAS success. This vote puts in jeopardy a series of 16 other sessions for Lynn teachers scheduled to begin next Monday.
Also, by a vote last week , the School Committee majority voted to eliminate a key component of the district's staff development programs, which is particularly bizarre at a time when the United States Department of Education is currently considering Lynn among a dozen school districts around the United States for its National Awards Program for Model Professional Development.
Therefore, I have today taken three actions to protect the 15,000 students of Lynn. First, I have requested an urgent meeting this week with Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, along with Lynn Mayor Patrick J. McManus and the Superintendent. Second, I have also today consulted with Massachusetts Department of Revenue officials who recently conducted a full audit of Lynn Public Schools. Department of Revenue officials have also indicated their concern of the actions of the Lynn School Committee. Third, I also will request the District Attorney of Essex County Kevin Burke, to review any allegations of violations of the Open Meetings Law by the Lynn School Committee majority.
The decision making by this four-member majority has interrupted the sound and promising direction that Lynn Public Schools is heading in and, ultimately will hurt students. I cannot and will not stand by and allow this to happen."