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What does Ruth Kaplan mean for ed reform? (Redux)

Ms. Kaplan is right to be “deeply troubled by the fact that too many children are being left behind in Massachusetts despite 12 years of Ed Reform,” as she noted at a State House press conference held by the Alliance for the Education of the Whole Child on January 10, 2006. As she further noted on that occasion: For the school year 2003-4, DOE figures show that over 10,000 children dropped out of our schools. All good so far. Also, not bad to have someone with passion to address the drop-out rate on the BOE. As Ms. Kaplan states later at the conference: This drop-out rate is a disgrace and should be of urgent concern to everyone who has watched […]

What does Ruth Kaplan mean for ed reform?

With the Governor’s appointment of Ruth Kaplan to the Board of Education, the anti-MCAS movement gets a swell of momentum.  Here is a comment from the Legislature’s Education Committee Hearing on MCAS Bills in September 2003: MCAS has failed abysmally to address the circumstances of students with disabilities. This test is destroying the aspirations of some of the Commonwealth’s hardest working students. Why are we placing insurmountable obstacles in the paths of our most vulnerable public school students? ‘One size does not fit all,’ and standardization is the antithesis of special education. If MCAS remains the barrier it has become for these children, then 25 years of progress will be reversed, and a high school diploma will become the ‘impossible […]

Turning up the heat on MCAS

I don’t know how or why the Gov’s folks think moving away from the MCAS is something they are going to get any buy-in on.  If you want to push it to the end of the school year, as many teachers have long asked–sure, that makes sense.  If you want to limit the number of days a school can take to give the exam–sure, makes sense.  But the attempt to sell this as a question of whether the MCAS is “a” versus “the” requirement is too lawyerly.  In a previous post, I went through the Worcester T&G’s take on the Gov’s plan.  Take a look at Jon Keller’s blog “Deval’s MCAS Folly”.  Tough words from Keller: And if he thinks the […]

What’s all this then about… the Worcester T&G

The June 5 T&G makes one more point worth mentioning.  As Monty Python used to say, What’s all this then about… free community colleges?  As the editorial notes, the idea “disappointingly fails to address more immediate concerns.”  As the piece notes, Community colleges play a vital role as a portal into post-secondary education — including four-year colleges and technical programs — for nontraditional students, limited-English speakers and others. While state funding may have made community colleges beyond the means of some, doesn’t everyone agree that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that CCs are effective delivery systems for skills needed in the market place?  I mean, a financial services firm, to remain unnamed, has a wonderful relationship […]

Whatever you do say nothing

…when you talk about you know what. The above line is from an old Irish song (full lyrics below), mocking some unspeakable truth that can’t be related in polite company. I thought of it today reading about the travails of John Hynes who had the audacity to say the following, as an explanation for his plan to open a private school as part of a major development in the Seaport: Unfortunately, 200 to 300 young families leave the city annually because they don’t want to send their kids to private school, can’t get into the public school of choice, or don’t want their 7-year-old spending two hours traveling to a private school, so they move to the suburbs (Quoted in […]