State taps Morris for advisory council

  • Amherst School Superintendent Michael Morris speaks Monday during a special Amherst Town Meeting held for a revote of the proposed 67.2 million school project. It failed again.

For The Recorder
Friday, December 22, 2017

AMHERST — Amherst-Pelham Regional School District Superintendent Michael Morris has been appointed for a three-year term to a statewide advisory council on racial imbalance in the state’s schools.

The Racial Imbalance Advisory Council will advise the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the education commissioner “on matters pertinent to the integration of students in our public schools and improved student achievement for all in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” according to a letter from acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson.

“I was really thrilled. I didn’t know the likelihood that I would be on it,” Morris said, adding that the School Committee encouraged him to apply. The district includes students from Shutesbury and Leverett who attend middle and high school.

The council’s work will include discussion of the Plan for Equitable Access to Excellent Educators — an initiative meant to provide equitable access to good teachers for students of color, as well as those who are economically disadvantaged, English-language learners or have disabilities.

In his role on the council, Morris hopes to share some of the things Amherst has done to improve diversity and inclusion. That work includes embedding diversity and equity work into the central office’s human resources department, and forming a group of Asian, Latino, African-American and Native American educators to meet regularly with the superintendent.

Morris also said, however, that he’s hoping to pick up other ideas from the other educators involved with the council.