Saying that “I didn’t get elected to just go along with the status quo,” first-term School Committee member Anthony D’Ambrosio is proposing to establish an advisory board that would make recommendations to the Committee and the superintendent of schools on a regular basis.
D’Ambrosio will request in the form of a motion at the July 21 meeting that the School Committee “establish an Equity Advisory Board that will examine racial, disability, gender, and religious equity issues in the Revere Public Schools.”
The Advisory Board – which would consist of educators, administrators, and outside experts – will make recommendations to the superintendent of schools and the School Committee “on concrete steps to improve equity in our educational policy, programming, and teaching ranks.”
D’Ambrosio said he is excited about his new initiative and looking forward to getting feedback from his colleagues in a public forum.
“I think my motion is essential – we’re at an inflection point in our city’s history,” said D’Ambrosio. “We need to completely re-evaluate our educational system from top to bottom. And a key goal and the key mission of this advisory board is to bring equity to traditionally, marginalized students.
“Working to create a more equitable system for these students is absolutely essential for a school district of the 21st century,” he added.
D’Ambrosio was elected to the School Committee last November, impressively topping the ticket with 5,318 votes in his first run for public office. The 24-year-old Yale graduate interpreted his victory as a mandate from the electorate that it wanted to see some change.
“I was elected seven months ago to shake things up,” said D’Ambrosio. “I was blessed to top the ticket, but I think I did so, in part, because people in Revere wanted change. I made that clear in my message that I would vote for change when necessary and this is kind of an example of systemic and system-wide change that I would love to push for.”
D’Ambrosio feels the creation of an advisory board would result in “fresh eyes and fresh viewpoints” taking an in-depth look at the entire school system.
“This advisory board will be a truly collaborative effort between teachers, administrators, the School Committee, and the superintendent – and the possibility of outside appointees who are experts in their respective fields,” concluded D’Ambrosio.
Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly felt it would be “very helpful” to have an equity advisory board leading such an effort related to the Revere schools.
“We’ve been doing work around equity for a long time in the School Department and I think it’s going to very helpful to have a dedicated team to lead that work, particularly if we have some administrators who are focused heavily in that area, can engage parents, can engage students, and help bring them into the conversation and make sure that the actions and the steps we’re taking, serve the needs of our students and our families,” said Kelly. (School Committee member Anthony D’Ambrosio provided a draft of his motion to the Revere Journal and portions of it were used in the compilation of this story).