Worcester State University
Latino Education Institute


Mayor's Commission on Latino Educational Excellence

Click here to view the full report:
Creating the Will: A Community Roadmap to Achieving Educational Excellence for Latino Students in Worcester

Latino Educational Outcomes in Massachusetts Public Schools


Meeting Notes Section

Background Data
     - Latino Students in the Worcester Public Schools
     - Latinos in Worcester: Demographic and Education Profiles
     - The State of Latinos and Education in Massachusetts: 2010
     - Youth Voices: Latino Student Achievement

The Worcester Mayoral Commission for Latino Educational Excellence

Community-Based Roots

Latino community organizations and leaders conceived of and advocated for the development of a Commission for Latino Educational Excellence.  The expectation is that the Commission will bring attention, talent, and clout to efforts promoting Latino educational excellence in Worcester.

The impetus for this effort is simple; we recognize the dire need to reverse the underachievement of Latino students in the Worcester Public School system.  Consider that in the city of Worcester the public school system serves over 23,000 students in the K-12 system.  Approximately 39% of this enrollment is comprised of Latino youth.   It is documented that these youth have the poorest educational outcomes of all subgroups in the Worcester Public Schools (WPS) as measured by their 60% high school graduation rate, MCAS scores, and other indicators.

To combat this trend, community leaders borrowed from a national model that has proven very effective in advancing Latino educational outcomes; the White House Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans has existed since 1990 under the First Bush Administration, Clinton Administration, the Second Bush Administration, and the Obama Administration.  These efforts have proven invaluable in highlighting promising practices in the education of Latino students and broadened the base of stakeholders invested in improving education, including religious organizations, the business community, and families.  The Latino Education Institute has spearheaded the effort to adopt this model in Worcester along with our partners the Worcester Youth Center, Adelante Worcester, and Quinsigamond Community College.

Strong Support from Political Leaders

At the October 20, 2009 Candidates Forum sponsored by Adelante Worcester all the candidates for School Committee  were asked by Adelante Worcester whether they would support the formation of a Commission for Latino Educational Excellence;  all present publically supported the idea.   Subsequently, in March of 2010, Mayor Joseph O’Brien and many of the same school committee members were asked at a conference sponsored by the Latino Education Institute and the College of the Holy Cross whether they would endorse the formation of a commission, all answered affirmatively.

The effort to establish a commission was greatly aided when in the fall of 2010, John Monfredo, School Committee member for the Worcester Public Schools, put forth a motion to establish a Commission for Latino Educational Excellence. 

The final credit on the establishment of the Commission belongs to Mayor O’Brien who in December of 2010 formally established the Mayoral Commission on Latino Educational Excellence and empanelled the Commissioners.


The commission is tasked with examining the underlying causes of the existing education achievement gap between Latino students and their peers, and issuing a report.  In addition, the Commission will provide guidance on effective community outreach and potential partnership programs.

Specifically, the Commission will provide advice to the Mayor and provide a written report on the following.


·     the progress of Latino students enrolled in the Worcester Public Schools, in closing

the academic achievement gap and attaining the goals established by the “No Child Left Behind" educational blueprint and policies related to Race to the Top.

·     the development, monitoring, and coordination of efforts to promote high-quality

education for Hispanic  Students;

·     ways to increase parental, private sector, and community involvement in improving

education; and

·     identification of innovative educational strategies to maximize the effectiveness of 

      education for Hispanic Students.

·     identification of systemic impediments that hinder the effectiveness of educational

initiatives for Hispanic American Students.


The Commission shall terminate 30 days after submitting its final report, unless extended by the Mayor. The Commission meeting schedule is as follows:  2/4/11, 2/18/11, 3/4/11, 3/18/11, and 4/1/11.  The Executive Committee along with experts from the Gaston Institute will work on a draft report in April and May.  Commission members will receive a draft report for feedback two weeks prior to the resumption of meetings to take place on 5/27/11.  The Commission will refine the report on 5/27/11 and 6/10/11.  A public release of the report will take place during the week of 6/19/11. 


The Commission is chaired by Dr. Gail Carberry, President of Quinsigamond Community College and Mary Jo Marion, Executive Director of the Latino Education Institute at Worcester State College.  The following is a list of Commissioners.

Melinda Boone

Superintendent, Worcester Public Schools

Mark Bilotta

Colleges of Worcester Consortium

Gail Carberry

Quinsigamond Community College

Jennifer Davis Carey

Worcester Educational Collaborative

Matilde Castiel

UMass Memorial/Latin American Health Alliance

Edith Claros

MA College of Pharmacy & Healthy Sciences

Maritza Cruz

Adelante Worcester, Hispanic/Latinos of Central MA

Monica Escobar Lowell

UMass Memorial Health Care

Deborah Gonzalez

Quinsigamond Community College

Paul Hernandez

Edward Kennedy Health Center

Jason Irizarry

University of Connecticut

Miguel Lopez

Adelante Worcester, Hispanic/Latinos of Central MA

Mary Jo Marion

Latino Education Institute WSU

Judith McGuire Robinson

Anna Maria College

Sandra Medina-Vazquez

Parent Liaison

Ramon Borges-Mendez

Clark University

John Monfredo

WPS School Committee

Jeffrey Mulqueen

Chief Academic Officer - Worcester Public Schools

Tracy Novick

WPS School Committee

Niurka Ortiz

Radio Sol

O. Daisy Rivera

Worcester Juvenile Court, Probation Department

Sergio Paez

Worcester Public Schools

David Perda

Chief Research and Accountability Officer - Worcester Public Schools

Margarita Perez

Worcester State Universit, Education Faculty Member

Hilda Ramirez

Worcester Youth Center

Sarai Rivera

Christian Community Church

Carmen Rosado

Worcester Public Schools

Mario Silva-Rosa

Assumption College,Director of Undergraduate Admission

Cynthia Stone

College of Holy Cross

Jeff Turgeon

Central Mass Workforce Investment Board

Marcela Uribe-Jennings

Worcester State University, Multicultural Affairs

Additional Information

The web page includes research and presentations conducted on behalf of the Commission as well as meeting agendas and minutes.  For additional information about the Commission contact Mary Jo Marion at 508 798 6507.


As of March 2011, this effort has been funded entirely by external contributors.  We would like to thank Anna Maria College, Assumption College, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, MA College of Pharmacy & Healthy Sciences – Worcester, Quinsigamond Community College, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Worcester State University for their generous contributions in support of improving Latino student achievement in Worcester.

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions from the Office of Congressman Jim McGovern an in particular, Gladys Rodriguez-Parker for her guidance, expertise and determination in launching this effort.

Related Links
  Come View LEI's Success through the Lens of Participants
  LEI Strategic Plan Report 2013
  LEI Scholarship Information
  Mayor's Commission on Latino Educational Excellence
  Not Present, Not Accounted For: School Suspensions in Worcester
  LEI Research Report 2009
  Mauricio Gastón Institute
  Pew Hispanic Center
  Worcester Public Schools
  American Council on Education
  Mass Afterschool Partnership

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