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Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)

School and District Accountability and Assistance Advisory Council

The 15-member Advisory Council on School and District Accountability and Assistance (AAAC) advises the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on matters pertaining to the development and implementation of the Commonwealth's School and District Accountability and Assistance system. To accomplish that goal, the Council:

  • Reviews and advises the Department and Board on the policies and practices of the Center for School and District Accountability.
  • Develops and administers through the Department a post-audit survey of audited school districts and an annual survey to any schools and districts receiving technical assistance.
  • Presents its findings and recommendations to the Board at least two times annually.
  • Reviews and comments on all regulations relative to the accountability and assistance program areas before Board approval.

The Board appoints members of the Advisory Council upon recommendation of the Commissioner. The Commissioner must recommend:

  • 6 members selected from among three nominees offered by identified stakeholder groups:
    • Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents
    • Massachusetts Teachers Association and the American Federation of Teachers of Massachusetts
    • Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association
    • Massachusetts Elementary Principals Association
    • Massachusetts Association of School Committees, and
    • Massachusetts Charter Public School Association

  • 1 representative of business/industry with a "demonstrated commitment to education "
  • 8 at large members with "demonstrated record of achievement or academic expertise" in areas related to accountability and assistance.

SY2020-2021 Meeting Schedule

October 23, 20209:30 AM – 11:30 AMRemote participation — Online
January 27, 20219:30 AM – 11:30 AMRemote participation — Online
March 18, 20219:30 AM – 12:30 PMRemote participation — Online
May 12, 20219:30 AM – 12:30 PMRemote participation — Online

Council Members

NameTitleInstitutionMembership Type
Erica BrownChief of Policy and School SupportsMassachusetts Charter Public School AssociationMassachusetts Charter Public School Association representative
Ethan CancellExecutive Director of Assessment, Accountability, Technology & Student Data ResearchBrockton Public SchoolsAt-large
Tiffani CurtisSchool SupervisorHolyoke Public SchoolsAt-large
Jason DeFalcoSuperintendent Blackstone-Millville Regional School District At-large
Samuel DePinaSecondary Superintendent of School Operations & SafetyBoston Public SchoolsMassachusetts School Administrators Association representative (secondary)
Heidi DriscollAcademic Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & AssessmentSoutheastern Regional Vocational Technical School DistrictAt-large
Sharita FaucheCo-DirectorCollaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN)At-large
Tim PiwowarSuperintendent Billerica Public SchoolsMassachusetts Association of School Superintendents representative
Jennifer RandallAssociate Professor of Research, Educational Measurement & Psychometrics; Associate Dean of Academic AffairsUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAt-large
Bertha-Elena RojasBoard of Directors, Chair of Advocacy CommitteeMultistate Association for Bilingual Education (MABE)At-large
Ron SanbornPrincipalCharles Jaworek Elementary School (Marlborough Public Schools)Massachusetts School Administrators Association representative (elementary)
Paul SchlichtmanPast PresidentMassachusetts Association of School CommitteesMassachusetts Association of School Committees representative
Mary SkipperSuperintendent Somerville Public SchoolsAt-large
Nancy UrbschatBusiness OwnerTSM DesignBusiness/industry representative
(vacant)  Teachers union representative

Council Charge

The statutory Charge of the Council

The AAAC members reflect a broad range of experience and expertise and they have served the council well. Individuals who are interested in bringing similar insight and experience to this advisory group are encouraged to send a letter of interest and resume to Erica Gonzales, staff liaison to the AAAC, at .

DESE Staff Contacts

Erica Gonzales, Liaison to the Council
Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner

Meeting Materials and Minutes

Download Word Document
AAAC Meeting Notes October 23, 2020
Download PowerPoint File
AAAC Presentation October 23, 2020

Archived meeting materials and minutes will be made available upon request.

Last Updated: January 22, 2021

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.