Metro

UMass Boston researcher tapped for Boston School Committee spot

Miren Uriarte, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston who has conducted extensive research on the achievement of Latinos and English-language learners, has been appointed to the Boston School Committee, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Wednesday.

Uriarte will finish the term of Claudio Martinez, who resigned in December to focus more time on personal matters. With Uriarte joining the board, Walsh has now appointed five of the seven members.

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“Today, Latino students are the largest racial ethnic group enrolled in the Boston Public Schools, and a recent BPS study showed that the achievement gap, especially for young Latino males, persists in Boston,” Walsh said in a statement. “Ms. Uriarte has spent decades in Boston’s Latino community, and has the firsthand knowledge about what policies and investments can be made to make headway on this issue. I’m thrilled that the School Committee will have Ms. Uriarte’s breadth of expertise.”

Uriarte has taught at UMass since 1981 and was the founding director of the college’s Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy.

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Uriarte, who holds a doctorate in sociology from Boston University, was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1961, the mayor’s office said.

“I’m a mom with a son who graduated from BPS, a longtime member of Boston’s Latino community, and a researcher who has focused on issues faced by English-language learners,” Uriarte said in a statement. “I believe in using data and evidence to make informed decisions about policy development. I’m looking forward to bringing these experiences to the School Committee, and working with a great team.”

James Vaznis can be reached at jvaznis@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globevaznis.
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