Peabody School Committee Calls Mitchell Chester’s Role with PARCC a Conflict of Interest

Dave McGeney
Dave McGeney

The Peabody School Committee member Dave McGeney called into question Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester’s role on the PARCC governing board.  Chester is in his third year as national chairman for the board.  The committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to send the following correspondencce to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Chester, Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the State Ethics Commission and ask that they render an opinion.

We believe the decision of whether to abandon MCAS, a test which is a fundamental element of the 1993 Ed Reform Act that has led to the unprecedented improvement in student achievement in Massachusetts, in favor of PARCC, a test which may hold promise but is, as yet, unproven and theoretical, is one of critical importance.

We believe also that this monumental decision demands objectivity, fairness and the impartial scrutiny of empirical data to determine the outcome.

We believe that Mitchell Chester, by virtue of his role as National Chair of the PARCC Governing Board and other actions represents a serious breach of trust, which is at odds with his primary duties and responsibilities, and at the very least gives the impression of bias towards PARCC and compromises the decision making process.

Therefore, the Peabody School Committee, by a unanimous vote, requests that you render an opinion on this matter.

Here is video of the school committee discussion.  It is apparent to me that we need more local school board members like McGeney.

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