Massachusetts moving forward on Race to the Top, will Maine?


Following the lead of Michigan and California, yet another blue state, Massachusetts, has moved education reform legislation forward in response to the federal Race to the Top grant.

According to the Boston Herald, “the bill passed early Thursday morning strengthens the state’s
application for $250 million in federal funding, makes it easier for
the state to step in and help underperforming districts and lifts the
cap on charter schools in the lowest performing districts.”

The bill, reports the Boston Globe, would give superintendents “broad new powers to make dramatic changes at the state’s worst schools, including the removal of ineffective teachers,” and would also “double the number of charter schools, which generally
operate free of unions, in the state’s lowest-performing school
districts.”  “Charter schools,” the paper continues, “have among the highest MCAS
scores in the state, [and] have been a boon for many urban families looking
for alternatives to traditional schools.”

Maine, of course, has no charter schools thanks to the bipartisan defeat of charter school legislation last year.

So three of the nation’s very bluest states have defied their education establishments and have each enacted legislation that brings more accountability to their educational system and more educational choices to students and families.

In Maine, we’re still waiting for Education Commissioner Susan Gendron to introduce the reform legislation she is developing.  Given what other states are doing and the speed at which they are doing it, whatever she comes up with had better be very, very good. 

Look at the news – we are to the point now where on meaningful education reform we are literally falling further behind the other states every single day.