Teachers on the Board of Education

On Tuesday, June 21, at 10AM in Room A-2 in the State House, the Education Committee will hear testimony on two pieces of legislation related to the membership of the board of education.

Both bills — House 1088 (sponsored by Rep. Walz) and House 1917 (sponsored by Rep. Garballey) — are designed to assure that frontline teachers are represented on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

I am a cosponsor of both of these pieces of legislation. My belief is that frontline teachers have invaluable direct experience in classrooms and that their common sense perspective should be better reflected in the education policies of the state. I think that the lack of teacher representation tends to lead to a more ideological approach on issues of student achievement.

You can view the full text of these bills at these links:

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

2 replies on “Teachers on the Board of Education”

  1. On first blush I disagree with the legislation as it feels like the aside representation that the Democrat party is so comfortable with. Assuring seats for people by gender and race divides people rather than bringing them together. I am for providing seats at the table for folks with expertise but giving them voting representation is undemocratic.

    1. There are two things going on.

      The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is unique among professional governance boards in the state. I haven’t done the survey, but my impression is that essentially all other professional regulatory boards — from lawyers to doctors to electricians to realtors to hairdressers and many more — include at least some representation of the regulated profession (some are dominated by them).

      I think the BESE suffers from the purposeful exclusion of teachers on the board. I feel we’d have a better board with one or two teachers on it and that would be a long way from giving the board over to teachers — I believe there would be 11 members.

      I take your point as to making it a union pick. But I’m not strongly opposed to that — hopefully, they’ll bring the necessary common sense.

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