It does not seem possible that another school year is drawing to a close and that it has been twelve months since I last wrote to you. I am not sure where the time goes, but as I get older the speed and pace of the school year seems to accelerate. When we met as a group at the Annual Meeting in May, I was struck by the energy and passion which you brought to the task of advising us in the ways in which we can incorporate Tom Hehir’s recommendations, Commissioner Chester’s perceptions about the progress of the Commonwealth in the twenty years of education reform and the strategic goals of your statewide organization. The MOEC Board, at its June 15 meeting, will begin to synthesize those thoughts and suggestions into a priority action plan that will guide our future initiatives. On the board’s behalf, I want to thank you for sharing your perspective and wisdom with us.
My analysis of your thoughts from those charts reveal an interest in:
- expanding your influence in providing professional development to member district staff to build capacity in regular education
- lending your expertise to member districts to reduce over-identification of special needs students
- better articulating our many programs and services both individually and regionally
- promoting greater dialogue between the Department, ourselves and member districts
- updating the design of our MOEC mentor program to more effectively support our new collaborative leaders.
These are worthwhile and ambitious goals for us to consider and adopt.
Last June, I reflected for you my recollection and understanding of the way we were, the way we are and the way we might become. Despite the “noise” that continues to engulf and distract us, that message still resonates with me. My work with you and our Board is to create, build and sustain the kind of statewide organization you wish it to be. You lead very busy and intense professional lives. My goal is to help you channel your energy and wisdom in ways that benefit you, your organization, and the greater educational community so that you receive the recognition and support you deserve.
I am hopeful and confident that in the year ahead the legislature will enact House 457. Our conversations with and support from Chair Peisch are most encouraging. The bill alone will not realize the vision and aspirations set forward in the “Next Generation” but it will lay the conceptual framework. We have journeyed a long way over these past eight years that I have had the privilege of working with you. The past and the present have been marked by outstanding successes and achievements. The future beckons and is ripe with opportunity and challenge. You have earned and deserve the respect that House 457 places in you. I look forward with great anticipation to its realization.
In the interim, enjoy some quiet time and relaxation over the summer months. You have earned and richly deserve this respite.