‘Unusual situation’: 6 of 7 members of Mass. town’s school committee resign

UXBRIDGE, Mass. — Six of seven members of one Massachusetts town’s school committee have resigned from their posts in what’s being described as an “unusual situation.”

“Many of you are aware that six of our seven School Committee members have resigned from their posts in recent days,” Uxbridge Superintendent of Schools Mike Baldassarre said in a letter to the community. “I understand that such an unusual situation can prompt more questions than answers.”

Dozens of people packed the town’s board of select meeting on Tuesday night wearing stickers that said ‘no confidence in the superintendent.’

Many say it’s a communication issue between Superintendent Baldassarre and other school committee members.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that and have it happen throughout the year, even when you replace with new members, those members stepping down as well I think that speaks volumes to the communication problem,” said Stephen Mandile, a father and Uxbridge Selectman.

Dr. Lisa Mobley wrote in her letter of resignation from the school committee that she “will not be subjected to threats and hostility from Dr. Baldassare.”

Parents and some former members say one recent issue is that Dr. Baldassare hasn’t completed his performance review evaluation, which is past due.

In an email to Dr. Mobley, Dr. Baldassare listed eight reasons why he needs to keep postponing his review.

“So it’s even harder for us to say if there’s success or failure by the superintendent when there’s no, when he’s not giving us the information we need to figure this out,” said Mandile.

Baldassarre also announced that he will be commissioning an independent, third-party review into the facts and circumstances that led up to the resignations.

“We aspire to be transparent and forthcoming with the community in all of our work,” Baldassarre said. “Our hope is that this review will not only lead to a better understanding of the circumstances resulting in this level of turnover on the committee but will provide some critical insight into what the Uxbridge Public Schools are doing well and where we may improve as an organization.”

Baldassarre noted that Edward Davis Company and President and CEO Ed Davis, who worked in law enforcement for 35 years, including seven years as the Boston Police Commissioner, will conduct the independent review.

Baldassarre also assured the Uxbridge school community that the exodus will have no impact on students or staff.

This month’s school committee meetings have to be canceled without enough members to make decisions for the district. But there is a town election in a couple of weeks when those vacancies should be filled again.

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