MPU ENDORSES ANGELICA INFANTE-GREEN AS NEXT EDUCATION COMMISSIONER
As parents, we have a sacred trust that we put into our public school system with our most precious and important gift — our children. Every morning we drop them off at the front door of the school but are left out of the real conversations about what should happen while they are in the building and are often relegated to doing nothing more than manning the bake sale table. These days must end.
In our next commissioner, Massachusetts Parents United is looking for a leader who will respect and value parents as partners.
MPU has been listening to the three candidates for commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) with a critical ear over the past week as they made the case to DESE’s Board and state education leaders. We held meetings with parents in MPU chapters across the state, solicited questions, and submitted them to the Board. We attended the candidate interviews last Friday and our parent leaders voted for an endorsement after the interviews were complete.
At the end of the day, children and parents are the stakeholders with the most to lose and it’s our job to ensure that our next commissioner is ready to lead. The lives of our children literally hang in the balance.
One thing is certain: It is not enough to ask our kids to simply “do better” than they did the year before. We must do everything we can to support our children in achieving proficiency so they can have a bright and happy future. The work is hard. It requires dedication and resources. But we absolutely must begin from a place of believing that every child, given the right supports and resources, has the ability to learn and achieve. Expectations are everything.
Angelica Infante Green has earned our endorsement because of her fierce passion to put our children at the center of the conversation, her commitment to giving parents choice, and her work with parents as partners in this journey toward educational equity for every child. She has also shown a dedication to pushing past politics and making the tough decisions.
And frankly, there was only one candidate who reached out to Massachusetts Parents United and asked to set up some time to meet with us. It’s clear that Angelica truly wanted to hear what parents and families in the Commonwealth are most concerned about.
The daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Angelica is a bilingual education leader who will be able to connect with Massachusetts’ diverse parents in Gateway Cities. She is a proven expert in the areas that are our most pressing — including bringing educational equity to low income children, children of color and differently-abled kids. We need a leader who will get after these deficits like a pitbull — who isn’t afraid to make the tough calls and challenge all of us to do more — and do it better.
The days of cookie-cutter education are over and we must push forward into a brave new future where families are provided a plethora of options that will fit the needs of their children. And when it comes to providing those options, Angelica Infante-Green is the best candidate for the job, due to her record as one of New York’s top innovators in education, as the mom of a special needs student, and her willingness to understand the importance of empowering parents and groups like MPU to guide the educational experience of our own children.
We need fresh eyes, expertise, grit, excellence, determination — and to hear passion, nuance, backbone and fire. Someone who believes that our children are not only capable but deserving of a brighter future.
Angelica Infante-Green is the commissioner Massachusetts education needs.