Healey was for allowing students to graduate without passing MCAS before she was against it

Intrepid Fox25 News reporter Joe Battenfeld went to the archives of … what, Beverly Cable Access?  Anyway, he dug out a video from 2000 of Healey talking about how “frightening” the MCAS test was, and how we should think about a “tiered system” in which students who pass it get an “honors diploma” but other students can still graduate, and how it “doesn’t necessarily measure everything we need to measure” (yeah – maybe we should measure the “whole child,” right Kerry?).  Not quite the tune she’s humming now.  I love the bit where she says she “can’t remember” exactly what she thought back then. 

Can’t remember, huh?  Let’s go to the tape.  (I’ve edited out some sections in which Deval Patrick states his position on MCAS – which is and always has been that MCAS should remain a graduation requirement, and in which they talk about the defection of Republican Gloria Larson to the Patrick/Murray ticket.  You can see the whole thing here.)

Battenfeld’s right about the hairstyle, too.  Another entry in the flip-flop box, coming up!

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  1. What's the over/under on the number of bullet points

    In that flip-flop box by november 7th?  There's 6 already.  Will we hit double digits?

  2. Another good one.

    As a persistent critic of the flip-flop charges, I'll admit that this issue seems to be another good example (which explains why even Fox thought it was news).

    The "overhoused" issue is overblown, the "Romney's position on choice" is absurd, and the "retroactive tax" thing is too obscure to resonate.  I also think the "who will debate who now" arguments are insubstantial.

    But David (and the media covering these stories) have got something with both the CORI reform issue and now this MCAS flip-flop.  What resonates so strongly about these two issues is that they so closely resemble the famous Kerry flop in that she clearly switched her position for political purposes.  Moreover, the fact that her older positions are nearly identical to the Deval positions she has been attacking makes them perfect examples.

    So, congrats David and keep up the good work.

  3. Am I the only person who sees something else wrong here?

    Battenfeld's right about the hairstyle, too.  Another entry in the flip-flop box, coming up!

    Wow.  I don't which is worse.  This or the Herald article that argued Healey should flirt more.

    You know that if a crack like that was made about a photo of Patrick when he had big hair, you'd be all over it as racist.

    C'mon people.  You're better that this.

    As for the substance of the post, I am completely comfortable with politicians who change their positions over time.  So is anyone who voted for "I was for the war before I was against it"-Kerry.  I count myself among them.

    In 2000, the MCAS as graduation requirement was really starting to heat up.  Healey's views were not out of the mainstream for the time.  But, six years later, after we've seen that having a "high stakes" exam doesn't lead to higher dropout rates and that many high school graduates still need remediation when they enter college -- I'm glad that her position has changed!

    That was trash journalism from Fox, and it was a shame to see that on the front page at BMG.  This is hypocrisy trying to masquerade as righteousness, and it doesn't seem to far from what your candidate of choice is doing.

    • debatable

      According to the Massachusetts DOE

      There were a total of 10,633 dropouts for a state annual dropout rate of 3.7 percent. In the 2003-04 school year, a total of 3.7 percent of students in grades nine through twelve dropped out. The 2003-04 dropout rate was 0.4 percentage points higher than the dropout rate for the 2002-03 school year. The projected four-year rate for the class of 2007 was 14.3 percent – an increase of about one percentage point since the 2002-03 school year. Out of the 10,633 dropouts, 86.3 percent were End-of-Year dropouts and 13.7 percent were Summer Dropouts.

      additionally the report states

      In both grades eleven and twelve, there was a higher percentage of dropouts among students without a CD. Out of all the grade eleven students who did not earn the Competency Determination (CD) by the end of the 2003-04 school year, 13.5 percent dropped out. Among the grade eleven students who did earn a CD by this point, 1.5 percent dropped out. Out of all the grade twelve students who did not earn a CD by the end of the 2003-04 school year, 16.3 percent dropped out. Among the grade twelve students who did earn a CD by this point, 1.8 percent dropped out. The annual dropout rate for grade twelve students was the highest at 4.8 percent.

      No CD either is they didnt take the MCAS or failed. If you look  at the subsets the rate is higher in poorer communities and hispanic communities the dropout rate is the highest.

      • No correlation yet

        Also from the MassDoe, adjusted annual dropout rates:

        1993 3.5 1994 3.7 1995 3.6 1996 3.4 1997 3.4 1998 3.6 1999 3.5 2000 3.5 2001 3.1 2002 3.3 2003 3.7

        I don't think there is enough data yet to support the claim that the MCAS graduation requirement resulted in a higher dropout rate.  Unfortunately, I don't think the DoE survey was going to get us any closer to the answer, either.

        • without a correlation

          how to you reconcile your statement

          blockquoteBut, six years later, after we've seen that having a "high stakes" exam doesn't lead to higher dropout rates and that many high school graduates still need remediation when they enter college

          An increase in dropouts wihout a CD is soimewhat of a correlation.....at least to me.

    • Waaah!

      Somebody's being mean to my candidate!

      Battenfeld said that Healey's hairstyle in that video was, shall we say, less than flattering.  I agree, and I said so.  For the record, her hair looks much better now.  So what?

      As for Patrick, this is the best I could do:

      Not the biggest afro I've ever seen.  But there it is.  Now, what do you think?  Does he look better with longer hair, or with short hair?

      More to the point: would it be racist to offer an opinion on that question?  I think the answer is, obviously, "no."  Just so with Healey.  So don't play that card if you can't back it up - and you can't.

      Finally, on the merits, if she wants to acknowledge changing her mind, that's fine with me - more power to her.  What I find totally disingenuous is for her to claim that she "can't remember" what she thought back then.  Well, she remembers now.  So what's her opinion?

      • Not so much the hair as the big 70's glasses

        I had big plastic frames like that as a child.  Ugh, those things were/are awful.

      • You made all my points.

        Thanks for saving me the time & trouble. 

        I don't think anybody has real trouble with candidates changing their positions/minds on an issue as long as they acknowledge that their thinking has--and I just love this--evolved.  Can we reject what they say?  Sure can--and often do.  I can say political expediency just as clearly as the next person.  The selective amnesia bit, though, is just too much. 

        And sorry, mocking someone's bad fashion sense may be juvenile, but it's fun.  Sometimes we even--GASP!--mock our own when confronted with some rather dubious choices some of us have made more than a few fashion cycles ago.  (Hey!  Are those Sergio Valente jeans?)  Doesn't make a person a bigot or a sexist.  Good grief. 

        • I hate me too posts

          But for the love of Dukakis: me too.

          Nothing wrong with changing your mind, but be upfront about it.  Say you've had X position before and now you hold Y position because...  Not hard to do.  It can come back to bite you in the ass anyway.

          People have long memories, or good oppo research, you decide. Then there's the glorious tubes of the interbunny. :-)

          I've actually had worse hairstyles. 

          Signed, Former goth girl. (no pictures exist... sorry) 

          • Well,

            as one who was dressed head to toe in leather during the early 80s, complete with shaved head (a la Sinead) save for a lock of rocket-fuel dyed white hair over the forehead, I, too, can safely claim that no photographic evidence of my eclectic fashion sense exists today. 

            Anthropologically invisible. 

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