So now we have a clueless “manager” who can’t even manage to keep traffic flowing through a toll booth. Dismissed once by the governor (probably with good reason), his lack of management skill and inane public statements makes him a great candidate for a second dismissal.
But Deval’s folks just keep the inane remarks coming. One day after the House issues a proposed FY10 budget filled with draconian cuts in local aid, here comes Education Secretary Paul Reville. He has an op-ed in the Globe talking about the administration’s education strategy. How to help local districts make it through tough times? Recognition of the challenges being faced by sharply diminishing resources? Of course not.
While we are gutting programs on the local level, here’s a guy off in the clouds with new and expensive programs.
IN A RECENT sharp and focused speech on education reform, President Obama highlighted Massachusetts for our long and unwavering support for rigorous curriculum and high standards for students. The agenda he outlined aligns closely with Governor Patrick’s Education Action Agenda. From a focus on early-childhood education to longer school days and school year to an increased push for more students to enroll in higher education, it is apparent that Massachusetts is already leading the way on the next generation of school reform, building the system’s capacity to educate all students to proficiency.
And then there are charter schools. What could help a struggling district more than setting up a charter school in their midst? These little self-governing school districts are expensive, with tons of administrative staff to run one little school. And the cost comes from garnishing the local aid accounts that are funding the cash-starved public schools. Reville continues:
However, the governor has proposed lifting the cap on charters in Massachusetts, specifically in low-performing districts that are nearing their caps, so proven charter operators can serve our most challenged student populations who have not been well served. The governor’s “smart cap” proposal lifts the district spending cap from 9 percent to 12 percent in those low-performing districts when providers commit to work with the neediest students. This cap lift will ensure that successful charter school operators have the ability to expand their contributions in school districts where the need for innovation is greatest.
Further, to encourage innovation and expand access to a greater number of students, Patrick has boldly called for the creation of Readiness Schools, autonomous, in-district, charter-like schools designed to give experienced educators increased discretion to operate schools under performance contracts with school committees. Readiness Schools will attract universities to operate partnership schools and empower educators, charter providers, and others to take responsibility for not only running schools but improving student achievement. One form of Readiness School will be offered in situations where outside providers will be invited in to operate chronically under-performing schools under new rules.
Just another clueless person at the top, who think this is some kind of “Sim City” game and who could care less about the impact they have in the communities.