Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 320: Establishing the Massachusetts 2000 Commission (public education)

Date: 10/31/1991
Issuer: William F. Weld
Mass Register: No. 674

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, Massachusetts has a unique and proud history as the birthplace of public education in the united States, with a constitutional guarantee to a free public primary and secondary education for all our children; and

WHEREAS, a well-educated population is vital to the future success of our Commonwealth and our nation in the modern global economy; and

WHEREAS, changes in our current public education system must of necessity involve participation by all segments of the education community, including students, parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, school committee members, higher education representatives and municipal and state officials, as well as public safety and human services officials and members of the business community; and

WHEREAS, goals intended to foster change and improvement in our current public education system have been adopted at the national level and embraced here in Massachusetts;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, William F. Weld, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1. A Massachusetts 2000 Commission (hereinafter "the Commission") is hereby established. The Commission shall have a Steering Committee (hereinafter "the Committee") as established herein. All activities and efforts of the Commission and the Committee shall be directed at furthering the following six national goals as established by President Bush and the National Governor's Association:

1. All children will start school ready to learn.

2. The high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90%.

3. Students will leave grades 4, 8 and 12 having demonstrated competency in challenging subjects including English, mathematics, science, history and geography; and students will learn to use their minds well, so that they may be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment in our modern economy.

4. American students will be first in the world in math and science achievement.

5. Every adult will be literate and will possess the skill to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of free citizenship.

6. Every school will be free of drugs and violence and will offer a safe, disciplined environment conducive to learning.

Section 2. In furtherance of those goals, the Commission will act as an independent advocate for change in public primary and secondary education, serve in an advisory capacity to communities and school systems interested in promoting changes in the way educational services are delivered, and act as a liaison between these communities and school systems and state and federal authorities. It is the express purpose of the Commission to facilitate the implementation of educational reforms at the local level, including the establishment of local goals and standards, and strategies for achieving them. Members of the Commission will be appointed by the Governor for terms of not more than three years each.

The Commission shall respond to all requests for assistance from communities involved in local education reform and committed to the national goals. Such assistance may include giving technical advice, recommending policy options, identifying sources of funding and information, coordinating with state and federal authorities and officials from other municipalities, or any other assistance the Commission may determine feasible. Subcommittees may be established within the Commission to investigate specific issues affecting public education, or they may be established to deal more broadly with the specific reform efforts of a given community.

Section 3. Within the Commission, there is hereby established a Steering Committee consisting of fifteen members appointed by the Governor for terms of not more than three years each. The President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader in the Senate, and the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives shall each recommend one individual who shall be appointed to the Committee by the Governor, provided, however, that the individuals recommended shall not be employees of the Commonwealth.

All decision-making and executive powers of the Commission shall be vested in the committee, including the authority to seek resources from external sources for operational purposes. The Committee shall have the power to establish subcommittees, delegate authority to those subcommittees, and define the parameters under which those subcommittees will operate. On behalf of the Commission, the Committee will determine what specific assistance will be given to communities engaged in local reform efforts, or it may delegate that authority to the appropriate subcommittee(s).

The Committee shall establish its own rules and procedures, as well as those governing the operations of the Commission. Said rules and procedures shall be established by a majority vote of the Committee members. The Committee shall meet as often as is necessary for the performance of its duties, and it shall prepare a report of its activities, not less than annually, that shall be made available to the public.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 31st day of October the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety-one.

William F. Weld, Governor

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Michael Joseph Connolly

Secretary of the Commonwealth

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