Joan Schuman, executive director of the Collaborative for Educational Services, nominated Chang-Diaz and Peisch for the award, and introduced them at the award ceremony at the AESA Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla.
Schuman said the two legislators have “opened the eyes of the state as to what educational collaboratives can accomplish.”
As new co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Education in 2011, Chang-Diaz and Peisch led a legislative commission exploring the benefits and liabilities of school regionalization. Their report to the Legislature recommended public schools in Massachusetts “develop and implement a more effective statewide model of collaboration, which can be achieved by expanding the existing network of educational collaboratives in Massachusetts.”
Schuman added the legislators’ understanding of the breadth of services and support collaboratives provide to public school districts was critical when “the malfeasance of one of our members brought intense scrutiny by a variety of state agencies to all educational collaboratives around the state.” Steve Theall, executive director of the Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives agreed, “We are deeply indebted to and thankful for the leadership, wisdom and courage they demonstrated in resolving a very difficult situation.”
The Education Committee co-chairs designed legislation that, according to Schuman, “ensures accountability while allowing collaboratives to continue their excellent efforts in supporting public schools.”