The education announcement was long on desire, but its lack of detail and, um, how to get it done (sometimes known as an implementation plan) is buying the Governor more static. Check out the June 5 editorial in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, which makes three points:
Conspicuously absent from his presentation, however, were a price tag for the sweeping expansion he envisions and an action plan for overcoming resistance by unions, school administrators and taxpayers to various aspects of his education plan.
A decade and a half after enactment of the landmark education reform law, the No. 1 standing of Massachusetts students nationwide has vindicated the “grand bargain” that underlies the effort’s success: a major infusion of funding accompanied by measurable standards and accountability for results. Although there have been continuing efforts to water down accountability, there is gratifyingly broad agreement that easing up on standards and accountability would be a catastrophe. (Regrettably, Mr. Patrick supports the teachers unions’ proposal to eliminate the state Office of Educational Quality and Accountability.)
Mr. Patrick’s broad vision for education is welcome. Absent concrete plans for addressing the considerable financial and political challenges it raises, its contribution to Massachusetts’ education debate will be limited.
Ouch, ouch, ouch. The questions I keep hearing from the business community are pretty straightforward: Is money sufficient substitute for substance? And, maybe more often, who is going to pay?