BOSTON—Thursday, June 7, 2007—Governor Deval Patrick today named Brookline resident Ruth Kaplan as the PTA representative to the Board of Education, the governor’s first appointment to the board.
An attorney and strong advocate for public education, Kaplan brings to the board significant experience as an educational leader, advocate, and community organizer. She has served as a member of the Brookline School Committee since 2003 and was the co-founder and chair of an education advocacy group dedicated to promoting school accountability based on multiple assessments and increased educational funding.
“Ruth is just the person we need on board as we strive to provide our children with the best educational opportunities available to compete with their peers from around the world,” Governor Patrick said. “Her leadership and experience in the local schools will be highly valuable to the Commonwealth.”
In 2000, Kaplan co-founded the Alliance for the Education of the Whole Child, a successful coalition of public interest, educational, civil rights, legal, advocacy and social action organizations dedicated to providing children with a well-rounded education. She also served as the Vice President for the Coalition for Authentic Reform in Education, where she has built a diverse statewide grassroots organization working to ensure all students have a fair chance to receive a public education.
“As a graduate of Massachusetts public schools, and as the proud parent of two public school students, I am honored to have been selected by Governor Patrick to this critical position on the Board of Education,” Kaplan said. “All our children, no matter where they live, deserve a well-rounded education that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. I believe in the need to educate the ‘whole child’ and to level the playing field in Massachusetts so that all public school students are afforded equality of educational opportunity. Clearly we still have a ways to go to achieve these goals.”
“I congratulate Governor Patrick’s appointment of Ruth Kaplan to the Board of Education,” said Congressman Barney Frank. “As a member of the Brookline School Committee and as a citizen of Brookline, she has been a consistent force for equality for all children. I know she will do a superb job in this important position.”
Kaplan also has also been a strong voice for special education, co-chairing for several years the Brookline Special Education Parent Advisory Council, where she helped facilitate special education policy development on the local, state and federal levels.
“Ruth Kaplan is a rare human being,” said Judy Meyers, Chair, Brookline School Committee. “She advocates non-stop for all struggling learners, whether they be special education students, English language learners or students of limited means. What makes Ruth effective, however, is that she listens carefully to everyone, including those with whom she disagrees, and always tries to find common ground in an effort to work toward common solutions. These qualities will serve her well on the Board of Education.”
Kaplan has previous experience in state government, working as a Senate senior researcher for the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and a program evaluator at the state Department of Youth Services.
Kaplan has taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies in several schools and holds degrees from Boston College Law School, Boston University, Brandeis University, Barnard College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary College. She also has attended Wellesley College and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.