I would like to correct inaccuracies in Greg Sullivan’s op-ed, “Baker should exert his will on education” (Feb. 5).

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the Common Core English language arts and math standards in 2010 after substantial teacher input.

The commonwealth has led a multi-state initiative to develop a next-generation assessment called PARCC to replace the 18-year-old English language arts and math MCAS tests. Massachusetts is the only state to spend two years test driving PARCC, and the state Board will decide whether to adopt PARCC in the fall with the input of educators and students and a comparison of PARCC to MCAS.

Mr. Sullivan’s description of the approval of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School is misleading. He quoted an initial Superior Court decision in a case that challenged the school’s charter, but at that point, no factual discovery had occurred.

After discovery, the Superior Court ruled in favor of Commissioner Mitchell Chester and the Board and stated that “there is no indication that Commissioner Chester made his decision based on his communications with Secretary Reville rather than on the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.”

It is disappointing to see a former inspector general use facts selectively.

Jacqueline Reis

Spokeswoman, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

3 thoughts on “Criticism of DESE commissioner contains inaccuracies …. by Jacqueline Reis, DESE

  1. Dear Ms. Reis, There are more often than not two sides to a story, with that said, I have not trusted Mitchell Chester for years and I don' t believe him on this particular issue as well. I will side with Mr. Sullivan, thank you very much!

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