Governor's pick for BESE chair underscores concerns about Baker administration

Massachusetts Teachers Association President Barbara Madeloni issued the following statement on the appointment of Paul Sagan as chair of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education:

Governor Baker’s highly political appointment of Paul Sagan as the chair of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education underscores educators’ concerns about the Baker administration’s public education agenda.

“Sagan’s key involvement in education stems from his role as chairman of the Massachusetts Business Leaders for Charter Public Schools, which has a record of favoring the privatization of public resources.”

Sagan’s key involvement in education stems from his role as chairman of the Massachusetts Business Leaders for Charter Public Schools, which has a record of favoring the privatization of public resources.

Sagan has been a leader of the campaign to lift the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts, and it is disturbing that someone with that view will hold such a prominent place in overseeing public education. Commonwealth charter school supporters advocate for the expansion of a two-tiered education system funded by public dollars, and they do not deserve such a platform.

The Legislature and educators across the state have resisted lifting the charter cap because they know that doing so would not promote fairness and would further impair community oversight of public schools.

Sagan will replace Margaret McKenna as BESE chair, and we want to thank McKenna for her service in that role. We appreciate the leadership that she has brought to the BESE during her tenure as chair. She has been willing to consider all sides of every issue, and she has worked hard to provide the schools all children deserve.

The board needs qualified educators, not venture capitalists, setting the course for public education in the Commonwealth.

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