Sisters and Brothers,
Earlier tonight the Haverhill Education Association came together to discuss DESE’s changing guidance and complete failure to safely and effectively lead the state’s public schools through this pandemic.
In response, the membership decidedly almost unanimously to join with other locals throughout the Commonwealth in declaring “no confidence” in Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The Action Team will meet next Monday at 4:30pm via Zoom to consider next steps. To join, please email HEAMembershipChair@gmail.com.
A Declaration of No Confidence in Commissioner Riley and the DESE
Members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association have come together across the state to declare that we have no confidence in the judgment or professional leadership capabilities of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and its Commissioner Jeff Riley. It is their responsibility to create an environment that ensures the health and safety of all students and educators. It is also their job to create structures that promote educators’ ability to provide the best quality of learning for students.
After surveying our members, we, the elected leaders of our local associations, have overwhelmingly found that Commissioner Riley and the DESE have consistently failed to provide high quality administrative leadership, planning, or safe working and learning conditions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The overwhelming majority of staff surveyed in our schools across Massachusetts believe that:
● The Commissioner lacks the necessary managerial and leadership skills to manage safely and effectively the DESE during the Covid crisis.
● The DESE and the Commissioner have failed to sufficiently consider input from individual districts.
● The Commissioner and the DESE continue to ignore the ever growing body of scientific evidence showing the direct correlation between in-person learning and increased transmission rates of Covid-19.
● Commissioner Riley and the DESE do not demonstrate the depth of understanding nor the impartial judgment needed to support students, faculty, and families.
Since our working conditions are the students’ learning conditions, we as educators have a responsibility to ensure that our schools are safe. Until Commissioner Riley and the DESE decide to listen more carefully and inclusively to health experts and educators from across the state, we will continue to fight for the schools our communities deserve.
HEA Executive Committee