To that end, Kaplan said she was most excited by her designated role as the board?s first Parent Teacher Association representative. The opportunity to be ?a voice for parents,? Kaplan believes, will go a long way to offset the notion that she is simply a left-leaning, knee-jerk dissenter. In fact, Kaplan made it quite clear that her beliefs are far from radical.
?I think I represent the mainstream,? she said. ?Fact is, I happen to serve on a school committee in a town that is consistently praised for having one of the best public school systems in the state. Families are willing to move to Brookline and struggle with the (real estate) costs to send their kids to our public schools. So we must be doing something right.?
My reading of Kaplan’s history on opposing the MCAS graduation requirement is that her position came primarily from her work with Special Ed students, where 40% of those denied a diploma by the MCAS were SPED students. Kaplan worked for a meaningful alternate assessment system that would allow people with disabilities to get the certificate they need to have a chance for meaningful employment.
The fact is, Governor Romney chose simply not to appoint a PTA representative to the Board of Education when the legislature created this position, rather than allowing anyone with an alternate point of view to have a seat on the board.
By making this appointment, Deval Patrick has simply followed the legislature’s lead to put a parent representative, nominated by the state PTA, on the board.