The City of Fall River is in fiscal and political turmoil which has led to a significant drain of talent from the School Department. The losers, of course are the ten thousand public school students.

Fall River's Superintendent of Schools Meg Mayo Brown departs for a new job in Barnstable at the end of the month.  Mayo Brown has won national and state recognition for her work and her leadership but politicians hell bent on controlling the system drove her away.  Under Mayo Brown, a system on the verge of a state takeover is now a role model for other districts.  Drop out rates have decreased while graduation rates are up as are test scores. The Fall River School District has made tremendous progress and was removed from the state's watch list as a result.

Political infighting over control of the district, foolish political debates over school funding and epic power struggles within the community have resulted in some of that progress eroding.  Mayo Brown and many in her leadership team were sent heading for the exits. The inability of the community to come together on issues of great importance threaten to turn the district back to where it was when the state first intervened.

Meg Mayo Brown is a person of great integrity and passion for the children she led to greater heights.  Her departure leaves Fall River poorer and it's children in search of a champion for education.  Mayo Brown was relentless in her pursuit of excellence and demanded that the community provide what is required to afford each and every child the education they deserve. The children of Barnstable will benefit for having Meg Mayo Brown at the helm.

Former Massachusetts Education Commissioner Matt Malone has been chosen to replace Mayo Brown in Fall River.  One can only hope that they politicians and meddling outside forces will give him the support he needs to keep the district moving in the right direction but knowing Fall River the way that I do I know it will be a daunting task at best.

Barry Richard

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