With Deval slipping further and further he seems to be resorting to a desperate media blitz that hits the right buttons. Patricks ad regarding the failure of Massachusetts schools is just plain inaccurate and misleading. Patricks advertisement creates the implication that our schools are lagging behind other states and that only Deval can right the ship. He states, In Massachusetts today, our schools are falling behind, and so is almost everything else, from our economy to our roads, thanks to officials more focused on the next election than the next generation.
The fact is our students fair very well when compared to the other states. For example in the 2005 ACT testing Massachusetts had the second highest average composite test score, the second highest average English test score, the highest average mathematics test score, the third highest average reading test score and the ninth highest average science test score. In 2006 Massachusetts performed even better on the ACT test.
Our Elementary and Middle School students also have fared well in nationwide testing. For example, in 2005 Massachusetts was ranked number one in reading and mathematics at the 4th and 8th grade levels on the NAEP test which is referred to as the Nations Report Card. Commissioner Driscoll tells me that it is the only national, continuing assessment of what American students know and can do in various subject areas. Before you go on attacking what the Commissioner said you should also know that Afromerica.com ranked Massachusetts as the number 1 state for public schools. In 2003 Massachusetts earned the highest rank for Middle School achievement from psk12.com.
Is there room for improvement? Of course there is, there is and always will be room for improvement. But Devals plaintive plea regarding the state of our schools is a pandering attempt to appeal to our baser instincts. He should stop wringing his hands. He should come out and criticize the teachers union and support the rapid expansion of the charter school system. His commercial should address the crisis caused by the special education system in this state. But of course, he will never do that.
I like Patricks positions on early childhood education but I find his tepid endorsement of charter schools and the MCAS system to be a symptom of his being wedded to the teachers unions as all good lefties must do. His ad should be narrated by Bill Clinton because it seems that both Bill and Deval would say anything (within the lefts allowed parameters) to get elected. I think Deval should take my advice and hit Gabs where it hurts.