Strengthening Public Education in the Commonwealth

Every child deserves a quality public school education from pre-school through college.  While our public schools are some of the best in the country, they are offering fewer courses and less teaching time than they did in the past.   Reductions in state funding and weeks spent preparing for and taking standardized tests are denying our children the education they deserve. Additionally, college students are taking 5-7 years to graduate from our public universities due to insufficient seats in the classroom and financial barriers.

After speaking with teachers in Wayland, Marlborough, Framingham and Sudbury and reading Diane Ravitch’s The Death and LIFE of the Great American School System, How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, I came to four conclusions:

  1. Great teachers and great curricula combine to deliver the best education.
  2. The months spent preparing high school students for standardized testing deprive students of substantial teaching time and force a diminution of knowledge that otherwise would be taught.  The incoming President of the Massachusetts Teachers Union is calling for a three-year moratorium on standardized testing.  We should give that call serious consideration.
  3. Charter schools have a weakening effect on public education when they only accept the best and brightest and fail to admit students who require independent education plans to achieve their maximum potential.
  4. We need greater investment in our state university system to allow students to complete their degrees in four years. Allowing the community colleges and state universities to retain tuition payments for operating expenses (rather than continuing to pay them into the Commonwealth’s general fund) is one means of meeting that need.

As your State Representative, I will fight to obtain the best education for all of our children so they can achieve their highest potentials.  I will work to increase state funding to public schools so Massachusetts is assuming a greater share of the cost of state mandated educational programs.  I will also work to increase state investments in higher education.  We need to invest in more faculty and related resources so every student can register and take necessary courses in four years.