Whose lack of urgency?

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Laura Crimaldi of the Boston Herald has done a good job reporting on the Governor’s frustration with what he perceives as the House’s lack of urgency in pushing for the creation of more charter schools.

Of course, I want to see urgency, but today’s report just, well, it shows the Guv to lack a little self-reflection.

“The problem is we’ve been waiting more than a decade,” Patrick said during a visit to the Excel Academy Charter School. “We’re talking about our kids who have been stuck in this achievement gap for well too long.”

He added: “It is a little frustrating to me that this has waited until the last minute.”

Look, I am really appreciative that the Guv gets it now on charters. I really am. But this is a bit much. Think of the Guv’s timeline on ed reform, where he has shown no urgency at all. Only with the RTTT funds did he see the light. And the problem is that he may have pushed us back too far to get it done on time.

– June 01, 2007 – Governor Patrick Unveils Vision for Next Phase of Education Reform

– Feb 26, 2008 – Paul Reville, then-Board of Ed chair appointed by Gov. Patrick, and Board of Education rejects proposed SABIS-Brockton charter school that would serve over 1,300 students. SABIS is a proven charter provider that runs a successful, minority majority charter school in Springfield.

– March 11, 2008 – Governor Patrick Names Paul Reville Secretary of Education

– June 11, 2008 – Gov. Patrick/ Sec. Reville first float “readiness school” idea with Globe. Orginal design is to freeze charters in districts that take up readiness schools.

– February 2009 – The Guv makes his first proposal to expand charters but with so many poison pills for charters as to get no backing whatsoever.

– July 16, 2009 – Governor Patrick Pushes to Improve Public Schools: Joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Museum of Science in Boston, where he unveiled his plans to raise the charter cap (without so many strings).

Again, glad for the Guv’s change of heart, but he can’t change history. He was slow to act, and he has to shoulder much of the blame for the inability to get this done before the end of the session.

We need strong education leadership on the Hill. Sen. Rob O’Leary is, it strikes me, a potential heir to that role. Let’s hope.

Sixteen years after the landmark Education Reform legislation, 100,000 inner city kids remain in failing schools. This is no time to point fingers. Rather, it is high time we get 27,000 more slots for inner city kids in great schools.