Deny His Grab for Power

BOSTON, MA — SEPTEMBER 24: Education Commissioner Jeff Riley speaks during Governor Charlie Baker’s press conference. POOL PHOTO

One of the things that continue to shock me is how often powerful people purposefully mislead their audience in an effort to gain more power. Jeff Riley is currently the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for Massachusetts or DESE. For a year, Riley has denigrated teachers and twisted headlines to suit his narrative. The latest example is his plan to force schools to return to in-person models of learning. Every single person wants schools to return to the buildings in some capacity. Each district has a school board and a superintendent that is continuously communicating with all involved parties.

In each district, there are plans to return to the building. No one needs Riley to get involved. He would rather make statements to boost his name recognition than to spend time working with involved parties. His request for additional power should be denied. His paternalistic attitude is antithetical to the collaborative nature of education that DESE has been working towards for decades. Superintendents already keep Riley informed of their plans and progress. There is no need to put another burden on school administrators who are already overworked this year.

Never have I seen so many people work so hard than during this pandemic. My life will be substantially better when we all go back to the buildings but I prefer to listen to the experts who are ensuring that the buildings are safe for our return. Riley seems to believe that there are people who are fighting to never return to an in-person model. Those people can utilize the online schooling that already exists in our Commonwealth. Everyone else wants students to be in the classroom with their teachers.

I implore the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Members to deny his request on March 22.

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Seeking my place in the world, questing for understanding, and forever pushing the boundaries on what is possible. Writing makes me happy

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Teresa Nicole

Teresa Nicole

Seeking my place in the world, questing for understanding, and forever pushing the boundaries on what is possible. Writing makes me happy

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