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For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 27, 1999
Contact:Jan O'Keefe Feldman

Stotsky and Safran Named Massachusetts Deputy Commissioners of Education

Malden - Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll announced today that he has appointed two people, Sandra Stotsky of Brookline and Alan Safran of Newton, to positions as Deputy Commissioners for the Massachusetts Department of Education.

Dr. Stotsky will be the Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Planning. From 1991-1997, she was the editor of Research in the Teaching of English, the research journal published by the National Council of Teachers of English. She has been directing summer institutes on civic education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, including a "We the People" institute for civics and government teachers sponsored by the Center for Civic Education. She received her doctorate in reading from Harvard in 1976. She is the author of many scholarly articles and a recent book, Losing our Language, published by The Free Press. She served the Department and Board of Education by co-chairing the committee that produced the Massachusetts English language arts curriculum framework which was approved in January 1997, and has been an active member of the assessment development committee for the student testing program, MCAS, in the subject of English language arts. She has taught or given demonstration lessons at every grade level, from kindergarten to graduate school. She began her career in education teaching third grade in South Easton, Massachusetts. A mother of five, she served on numerous committees for the Brookline Public Schools.

Mr. Safran will be the Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Policy. Since August 1993, he has been a manager at the state Department of Education. He served as Administrator for Public Affairs until October 1994, and then until April 1998, he was Executive Director of the Office of the Commissioner. Since April 1998, he has been the Chief of Staff. Prior to working at the Department of Education, he was an Assistant District Attorney in New York City where he successfully conducted numerous felony jury trials and presented hundreds of cases before Queens County grand juries; he was executive director of a political organization in Massachusetts and a Washington lobbyist; and he served as Spokesman for the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where he co-authored the 1983 report on "Human Rights Issues in United States Relations with Romania and Czechoslovakia." Son of two public school teachers and a father of two, he and his wife, Dr. Dana Gelb Safran, are expecting their third child in August.

"I am pleased to have two talented and complementary Deputies as I begin my responsibilities as permanent Commissioner of Education," said Dr. Driscoll, who was appointed Massachusetts' 22nd Commissioner of Education by the State Board on March 10. "In Sandra, we have a Deputy with a depth of experience in academic matters of great importance, including English language arts and history/social sciences. In Alan, we have a very bright, energetic manager who exemplifies the nimble, non-bureaucratic approach to school reform that I value. Most importantly, both are committed to children and to public education."

Last Updated: May 27, 1999
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