DFER Announces New State Director for Massachusetts


April 4, 2022

Democrats for Education Reform Announces New State Director for Massachusetts

Mary Tamer Tapped for Her Commitment to Educational Equity

APRIL 4, 2022 – Democrats for Education Reform announced today that Mary Tamer has been named the next State Director for DFER Massachusetts and its affiliate Education Reform Now Massachusetts. Tamer is a longtime education advocate and Democratic activist who is a product of the Boston Public Schools, a former BPS parent, and a past member of the Boston School Committee.

Tamer will lead the chapter’s mission to develop a student-centered policy agenda rooted in educational equity and excellence. The most pressing opportunities and challenges include amplifying issues faced by historically marginalized and underserved students, elevating several key pieces of legislation such as universal pre-k, expansion of early college programs, and support for charter public schools, and fighting for improved education for all students and families – including those impacted by the pandemic.

“Mary brings a broad base of experience and passion for this critical work, including her four-years on the Boston School Committee under Mayor Menino, where she helped pass a new weighted student funding formula so each student would be funded based on their unique needs rather than a static level of funding, and led the first Inclusion Task Force to oversee the district’s efforts to expand high-quality inclusive options for more than 12,000 Boston Public Schools students with disabilities, among other achievements” said DFER National President Shavar Jeffries. “At the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, Mary launched an online application that tripled the number of applications to Boston’s charter schools to 35,000—increasing access to families across the city. She has a demonstrated dedication to educational equity, and we look forward to her continued leadership on behalf of Massachusetts’ students.”

Prior to joining DFER, she worked for SchoolFacts Boston as the Education Research Director conducting reviews and leading dissemination of key metrics related to the Boston Public Schools, including oversight of the $1.3B budget, enrollment trends, and student outcomes and opportunities, with a primary focus on low-income populations, students of color, students with disabilities, and English learners.

Tamer ran as a first-time Boston City Council District 6 candidate in 2021, raising more than $185,000 and receiving more than 11,000 votes in the highly competitive race.

Tamer is the daughter of an Arabic-speaking English Learner, the sister of a high school dropout, and a Boston Public School student eligible for free lunch during Boston’s desegregation efforts, all of which shaped her worldview as well as her deliberate path toward education equity. Her two children also attended Boston Public Schools.

“My family’s lived experience within Boston Public Schools some decades ago, and more recently, is all-too relevant today—whether in Boston or across our Gateway Cities—as we continue to see disparate outcomes, treatment, and classification for students of color, low-income students, English Learners, and students with disabilities,” said Tamer. “The urgent need to address these stark disparities and inequities will drive my service as DFER’s State Director, where my professional, policymaking, and political experience will serve as a catalyst for constructive change for students and families across the state.”

About Democrats for Education Reform
Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is a national political organization that supports elected Democrats and candidates for office who seek to expand policies and practices that increase educational equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. It is affiliated with Education Reform Now, a non-partisan, nonprofit think tank and advocacy organization that promotes increased resources and innovative reforms in K-16 public education.