Holyoke Public Schools

Work begins today to develop a turnaround plan for the public schools in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  A temporary advisory group appointed by the Massachusetts education commissioner is scheduled to hold its first meeting.

Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester has appointed 18 people to the Holyoke Local Stakeholder Group, a temporary advisory body that will make recommendations for a district turnaround plan that will be developed in the next few months.

The Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Mitchell Chester, is in Holyoke today.  It is his first visit since a state education board voted earlier this week to put the city’s public schools under state control.

 

For just the second time a public school system in Massachusetts has been put into receivership. 

    The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 8-3 Tuesday to declare the Holyoke Public Schools to be chronically underperforming and striped the locally elected school committee in Holyoke of its authority. 

   State education commissioner Mitchell Chester, who recommended the board take the action, will run the schools until he hires a permanent receiver.

WAMC

With state receivership for the public schools in Holyoke, Massachusetts appearing increasingly likely, the city’s Superintendent of Schools is hoping for more time for an accelerated improvement plan to show results.

Holyoke school superintendent Sergio Paez said the recommendation by the state’s education commissioner that the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education schedule a vote on receivership was “difficult to accept.”

" I think the commissioner is doing his job to do what he thinks is best, however I don't agree with that recommendation," he said.

The second largest public school system in Massachusetts is going to make condoms available to students as young as 12 beginning this fall. The school committee in Springfield, Thursday night, approved a condom availability policy that proponents say will become  part of a comprehensive effort to combat one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the state. WAMC's  Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.