Boston -- Governor Mitt Romney today announced the formation of an education task force to devise intervention strategies to turn around the state's underperforming school districts as part of the next stage of education reform in Massachusetts.
The task force will be chaired by Paul Grogan, President of the Boston Foundation, and comprised of 14 members representing legislators, educators and community leaders.
"We need to get our underperforming school districts back on track," Romney said. "It's time for the interests of the entrenched educational bureaucracy to take a back seat to the interests of our children and teachers."
Romney charged the task force with coming up with reforms for the school districts the Board of Education labels as underperforming. He asked them to consider several ideas for these districts, including giving principals greater leeway to hire and fire teachers; full-day kindergarten for children whose parents take a parental preparation course; merit pay for excellent teachers and those willing to work in underprivileged urban areas; and removing students with severe discipline problems from regular classrooms.
Grogan is well known for helping establish the Adult Literacy Initiative and the Boston Compact, a partnership between Boston's corporate community and the public schools designed to help students stay in school and secure good jobs.
"I am honored to accept Governor Romney's request to chair this task force, which is made up of a number of outstanding leaders, " said Grogan. "I look forward to advising the Governor on the next critical steps to make sure our schools are meeting the needs of students and their families."
The task force will hold their first meeting in mid-November and report back to Romney by the end of the year with their recommendations.
The Education Task Force Members include: Paul Grogan, Chair, President, Boston Foundation; Jim Peyser, Board of Education; Basan “Buzz” Nembirkow, Superintendent, Chicopee Public Schools; Thomas Payzant, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools; Donna Rodrigues, Jobs for the Future, Former Principal, University Park School, Worcester; Kim Marshall, New Leaders for New Schools, Former Boston Principal; Robert Antonucci, President, Fitchburg State College, Former Co-Chair of Legislative Joint Committee on Education; Mark Roosevelt, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Former Co-Chair of Legislative Joint Committee on Education; Linda Whitlock, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston; Janis Pryor, Former Assistant Professor, Wheelock College; teacher to be named; Senator Bob Antonioni; and Representative Marie St. Fleur.
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