Lesley University clarifies stance on charter
After a clarification by Lesley University on the college’s support of the proposed Somerville Progressive Charter School, a parent group opposed to the charter said that backing in the community for the 425-seat school is “crumbling.’’ The Jan. 2 letter from Lesley was posted to the website of Progress Together for Somerville, a group formed to block the charter school, and clarifies a previous statement by a university official that was included in Progressive’s application to the state last year. Members of Lesley’s education department were “interested in the development of this charter school proposal and look forward to a possible collaboration if the school is launched,’’ William T. Stokes, then interim dean of its School of Education, wrote July 22. But the university last week said the letter should not be construed as outright support for the charter school, which would focus on teaching students whose first language is not English. “Our letter is not . . . an evaluation of the strength of their proposal, nor an endorsement of that proposal,’’ wrote Jonathan H. Gillette, who started as the School of Education’s dean last summer.
- Matt Byrne