Looks like the Governor has started trailing some of what the initial phase of the Readiness Project is likely to encompass. I think he’s going about this well.
He’s bringing together stakeholders to develop a shared vision of where we could take education over the next decade and setting out what it will take to get there, including what it may take in funding. And then on the basis of that vision and a realistic look at evidence and costs, is then opening up a wider dialogue on how to shape a 21st century education package, with free access from kindergarten through the first years of college. This from an AP story in the Herald this morning:
A group of educators and others serving on the governor’s Readiness Project are trying to determine the total cost of educating a child from pre-kindergarten through state-funded community college and other higher education.
Gov. Deval Patrick told school superintendents participating in a Statehouse lobbying day Tuesday that he, lawmakers and education interest groups will then use that number to debate how much of that cost the state can afford.
The governor says he expects the first recommendations from the Readiness Project members in the next several weeks.
Patrick already has said he supports universal pre-kindergarten and free community college tuition for all Massachusetts residents.
Improving the public education system lays the foundation for his other major leadership initiatives: creating jobs and improving civic engagement.
One thing I think this shows is that an administration can’t be judged in the short-term. There is always huge pressure on incoming executives to score a number of wins during their so-called honeymoon period (blame Roosevelt’s 100 days, which seems to have set the bar unreasonably high for executives ever since, despite the fact that FDR worked within the context of a national economic emergency and thus had a favorable climate to do big things quickly), when in fact, its the development of ideas and vision over the longer-term that usually determines whether an executive is successful or not.
I think some of the long-term fruits of Patrick’s labor will start to show soon.