Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius submitted her resignation on Monday to transition out of her role at the end of school year. "When I arrived in Boston in July 2019, I couldn’t have predicted that eight months later the world as we knew it would change. Since then we’ve confronted a global pandemic, reckoned with escalating racial division and civil unrest, and worked to repair community relationships that had eroded trust in our schools and confidence in our city," wrote Cassellius in her letter. "It is nothing short of remarkable that in the midst of it all we also developed a community-wide vision for equitable and excellent schools in every neighborhood of Boston; made historic steps forward in expanding access to our nation-leading exam schools; implemented a rigorous set of high graduation standards for every high school in the district with adoption of the MassCore; and put in place more just and transparent attendance, code of conduct, student privacy and grading policies." Cassellius thanked former Mayor Marty Walsh for hiring her, acting mayor Kim Kaney, and Wu in her letter.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu reappointed Jamaica Plain resident Lorena Lopera to the Boston School Committee on Tuesday. Lopera was reappointed along with South Boston resident Rafaela Polanco García. Lopera and Garcia had been appointed to abbreviated terms by Acting Mayor Kim Janey in July. https://twitter.com/LorenaMLopera/status/1465793586503589897
“Lorena Lopera and Rafaela Polanco García have served with dedication and urgency to ensure Boston Public Schools is connected to each one of our families,” said Wu. “I am excited and grateful to reappoint these passionate community leaders who have consistently advocated for equity, inclusion, and accessibility in our school system.
Last November, voter turnout was the key to turning the corner on the hatred and ineptitude of the former presidential administration. The highest-ever percentage of voters ages 18-29—53%—showed up to cast their ballot for change. Our kids, who were in 5th grade in Boston Public Schools at the time, were super-engaged: watching parts of the debates, discussing the election with their teachers and classmates, and accompanying us to the polls. And during the run-up to this September’s primaries, we had multiple conversations about how exciting it was to have so many women of color on the ballot and what kind of change that could represent for the city.
At home and during their time in BPS, our kids have learned about how long it took women to secure the right to vote, and how hard African-Americans fought for decades to secure equal access to voting rights. And in both spheres, our kids are learning to be critical thinkers—why did it take women and people of color so long to get the vote?—and how to focus on how they might create change.
As middle schoolers now, our kids get it: The ability to vote is the ability to hold elected officials accountable for their actions and their policies.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey named two new Boston School Committee members, including Jamaica Plain resident Lorena Lopera. Along with Lopera, Polanco Garcia of South Boston was also named to the School Committee. Lopera is a Boston Public Schools parent and Executive Director of Latinos for Education, New England, which is a national organization dedicated to creating leadership pathways for Latinos in education. She is currently co-chair of the Hurley K-8 School Site Council. She has been very involved with organizations focused on expanding educational access for Latinx youth and students of color, including Roxbury-based Sociedad Latina, La Vida, Inc., and Building Excellent Schools, plus national organizations such as City Year and the Posse Foundation, according to a press release.
Alexandra Oliver-Dávila was elected chairperson of the Boston School Committee. A position she was quickly elected to in November of the former chair resigned. “Growing up as a Latina learning English in Boston, I am intimately familiar with the hurt and pain caused by racist practices and ideologies, and I have experienced the barriers to opportunity that our young people encounter every day,” said Oliver-Dávila. “There is much challenging work ahead to develop our competencies and closely examine our policies to improve outcomes for our students. I thank my fellow members for their support and their unwavering commitment to our students and families.”
Oliver-Dávila is a Roslindale resident and a Boston Public School parent.