Boston School Committee

I’m very grateful that the Boston School Committee has granted me an interview with their Nominating Panel on Monday. I decided to apply for one of the open committee positions after we published our op-ed in the Boston Globe regarding COVID in the schools. I want to help improve the health and safety of our schools. This is more important than ever in the context of the new variant, Omnicron.

The Boston School Committee is responsible for:

  • Defining the vision, mission, and goals of the Boston Public Schools (BPS);
  • Establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget;
  • Hiring, managing, and evaluating the Superintendent; and
  • Setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement. 

Although I certainly don’t have a background managing a budget of $1.3 billion, I do have other experiences which would be valuable to BPS students. My public health work has included work in Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, Zambia, India, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru. I also have extensive experience working in underserved communities in the United States.

My main goals as a committee member would be to reduce COVID transmission in the public schools and to advance racial justice and educational equity. In addition, I would hope to improve the music, art, foreign language, and athletics programs in the district.

Finally, I would push for a major focus on mental health for students, teachers, and others in the BPS community. As many people know, I am living with bipolar disorder and am a vocal advocate for health and healing. Practically speaking that would involve an “all hands on deck” push for mental health in our schools and neighborhoods. We need therapists, support groups, and music and dance groups to help the BPS community overcome their fears and experience hope and joy once again.

Improving the quality of our public schools should be our top priority. It requires attention and action from each one of us. Together, we can get the job done.

My great-grandmother, Lora (Rauh) Lederer, who died in 1948, was a staff member of the Cincinnati Board of Education for more than thirty years. I hope to follow in her footsteps by helping improve the public educational system of Boston. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our schools, please email me at lederer@gmail.com or leave a comment below. Thanks!

Lora Lederer (1878-1948)

18 thoughts on “Boston School Committee

  1. Thanks

    On Thu, Dec 2, 2021 at 8:55 PM Philip Albert Lederer M.D. wrote:

    > Philip Lederer MD posted: ” I’m very grateful that the Boston School > Committee has granted me an interview with their Nominating Panel on > Monday. I decided to apply for one of the open committee positions after we > published our op-ed in the Boston Globe regarding COVID in the publi” >

    1. I understand everyone has been operating under tremendous stress, uncertainty, and pressure over the past two years, and depression is common. I would try to bring hope and imagination back to the School Committee. We can do things differently, if we work together and think creatively. Just one example – why couldn’t we have a morning sing outside each Boston Public School, weather permitting? That would start the days off on a very positive note and bring joy to the community. I saw this done at Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana in 2007 on the HIV/tuberculosis medical ward. The nurses sang every morning, and it was inspirational, and it helped them get through the enormous challenges they faced. We need to imagine things differently, imagine the future in a positive light. We need to think like fiction writers – and our dystopian present could become a utopian future.

    1. I did interview with the Nominating Panel yesterday, and they decided not to forward my name on to Mayor Michelle Wu.

      I believe we need an elected school committee in Boston. The voters gave an overwhelming mandate for this at the last election, and it needs to happen. Will the Mayor provide leadership and support a fully elected school committee?

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