Fuzzy New Math at the Exec. Office of Education

(February 2011-January 2007 = 6 years

I’ve heard of the “new math” but this is kind of out there. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

In case you missed it, the Boston Herald ran an article over the weekend on the departure of top Patrick admin edu-crats to Gates/national standards advocates. No conflict of interest there…


News of the departure of a top Deval Patrick administration education deputy has given more ammunition to critics of the governor’s push for national academic standards…

Jamie Gass, director of the Center for School Reform at the conservative Pioneer Institute, said the departures raise eyebrows.

“These developments continue to raise ethical concerns about the process by which the commonwealth adopted weaker-quality national standards,” he said.

Jonathan Palumbo, an education spokesman, called that allegation “complete and utter nonsense.”

“This was a totally open and transparent process,” he said. “Massachusetts has a proven track record of educational excellence. Under the Patrick-Murray administration’s leadership we have led the nation in student achievement for over six years. We are fortunate to have a talented pool of education leaders here in the commonwealth who have helped us reach those goals, and we look forward to continuing this work to ensure that every child in Massachusetts receives a quality education.”

(bold mine)

Speaking of “complete and utter nonsense,” the Executive Office of Education might think about looking into some MCAS math remediation for its own staff. It would be IMPOSSIBLE for the Patrick-Murray administration to have provided SIX years of educational leadership when they have only been in office for a little over four.

And, NOBODY believes that MA’s historic success on NAEP in 2005, 2007 and 2009, or international math and science TIMSS testing in 2007 had anything to do with Governor “Whole Child.”

In fact, Patrick-Murray’s entire education agenda has been punctuated by taking credit for other people’s hard-won efforts over the last 17 years while pandering (http://massteacher.org/news/archive/2010/07-12a.aspx) to the Beacon Hill edu-special interests who fought MCAS, standards, charters, teacher testing and accountability at every turn.

A former education advisor to Cellucci, Swift, and Romney had this to say about the MTA http://bit.ly/GCzR6

It is indisputable that the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) was the largest obstacle to implementing key elements of the [1993 Education Reform Act] reforms, most notably the MCAS exit exams, which were the main driver of Massachusetts’ success… The fight against MCAS featured lawsuits, boycotts, demonstrations, and, most famously, the MTA’s $600,000 fear-mongering ad campaign (the ads showed a ticking clock with nervous students, despite the fact that the exams were untimed).

Massachusetts students are the top academic achievers in the nation despite, not because of, the MTA and the Patrick-Murray administration.

And as for Palumbo’s comment that adopting the national standards was a “totally open and transparent process,” why then have his office and the MA DOE been fighting for a year to suppress a FOIA request for documents pertaining to this national standards adoption process? http://www.bostonherald.com/ne…

Paul Reville circa 2002 had it correct, a secretary of education’s office should never have been re-established. In his own words:

Further, the proposal creates the post of Secretary of Education. The Commonwealth has tried an education secretariat twice in recent decades and in both cases, the experience has been so negative that the Legislature has chosen to abolish the position. Notwithstanding the outstanding qualifications of the Administration’s proposed nominee for this post, why go down this road again?

No matter how well constituted, an education secretariat creates a competing center of power that vies with and against the state’s Chief State School Officer, the Commissioner of Education, and the State Education Agency, the Department of Education. In fact, the past conflicts and confusion spawned by the creation of a secretariat have created such difficulty in the field that policymakers had to eliminate the office.


At the very least, it might be time for a new spin doctor in Secretary Reville’s office.

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