Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jones: Reville’s Audacity is Astonishing

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement in reaction to Education Secretary Paul Reville’s comments regarding his request for postponement of the Board of Education’s vote on adopting national standards:

I was appalled to read Education Secretary Paul Reville’s comments in response to my call to postpone today’s vote as “absurd and politically motivated.” Unfortunately for Reville, his record as Education Secretary speaks for itself.

It was not too long ago that Secretary Reville was encouraging the Patrick Administration to get behind the licensing of a charter school in Gloucester, saying in an email, “Our reality is that we have to show some sympathy in this group of charters or we’ll get permanently labeled as hostile and that will cripple us with a number of key, moderate allies. It really is a matter of positioning ourselves so that we can be viable to implement the rest of our agenda.”

Reville’s actions surrounding the Gloucester charter school debacle prompted calls for the Education Secretary’s resignation. The Boston Herald went as far as saying, “Reville has shown where his priorities are. Now that his credibility is shot to hell he should do the right thing and resign.”

Suggesting that allowing more time for parents, teachers and the public to comment on and learn about the curriculum changes is politically motivated is an insult to the students who will be most affected by these changes. In fact, if Reville thinks collecting public input before a monumental policy shift is made is absurd, maybe he is not the right person for the job. If shifting toward a set of national standards is indeed the best choice, the Administration should be more than happy to open the subject up for additional public hearings in order to get teachers, parents and students on board with the dramatic change. If they’re scared to hold public hearings, then I am scared for the future of the Massachusetts public educational system.