Teachers Union President Paul Georges decried what he called “lies” from the Pioneer Institute, a conservative think tank, that linked charter-school funding to the state’s ability to qualify for Race to the Top funds.
“We do not need a bill to qualify for the money,” Georges said. “Massachusetts is in the top tier of two or three states.”
I am sure Mr. Georges is a nice man and is not a liar. That said, I would suggest better reading materials than MTA talking points. Fact is, with states across the country making hard reforms, Massachusetts cannot simply live in the past and expect its crown of laurels to remain in tact.
As we noted to legislators on Monday (here and here), from May onward, the president and the US Secretary of Education have been very clear and very consistent in calling for the lifting of charter caps, whether in June:
“We are fighting this on a state by state battle, that’s the battleground. Places like Rhode Island that are
thinking about under-funding charters are obviously going to put themselves at a huge competitive
disadvantage going forward. So we don’t think that’s a smart thing for them to do, and we’re going to
make that very, very clear.”
“States that don’t have charter laws or put artificial caps on the growth of charter schools will jeopardize their applications under the Race to the Top fund,” Duncan told reporters last month. “Simply put, they put themselves at a competitive disadvantage for the largest pool of discretionary dollars states have ever had access to.”
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of progress and reform we’ve seen already, before submitting a dime… The amount of progress, the amount of change we’ve already seen — 48 states working on common standards, lots of charter school restrictions going away.
Yes, that’s December 2009. Mr. Georges and Massachusetts will need to wake from their slumber.