RELEASE: DFER-MA Statement on Stalled Charter Bill in Light of Arne Duncan’s Visit to Boston Schools

Democrats for Education Reform Massachusetts (DFER-MA) released the following statement today from Massachusetts state director Liam Kerr, urging the passage of a stalled education bill in the state legislature upon Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s visit:

“Doing right by kids can be politically challenging, but President Obama has urged Democrats to power through. In 2010, federal money helped push needed reforms. Today, hopefully, Secretary Arne Duncan’s visit will inspire politicians on Beacon Hill to do the right thing and make the changes we need.

Democrats for Education Reform Massachusetts (DFER-MA) released the following statement today from Massachusetts state director Liam Kerr, urging the passage of a stalled education bill in the state legislature upon Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s visit:

“Doing right by kids can be politically challenging, but President Obama has urged Democrats to power through. In 2010, federal money helped push needed reforms. Today, hopefully, Secretary Arne Duncan’s visit will inspire politicians on Beacon Hill to do the right thing and make the changes we need.

“As reported by The Boston Globe on Sunday, the State House has stalled An Act to Further Narrow the Achievement Gap, a bill to expand high-performing charter schools and further empower districts to turn around low-performing schools. The changes stuck in the Education Committee expand on the most successful aspects of the 2010 bill passed in response to Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition. Secretary Duncan advocated for states to make these exact changes back in 2010.

“While Duncan’s trip has not yet been publicly tied to the bill, he will visit two schools that have seen dramatic results from kids as a result of this legislation—created over the fervent objection of strong forces on Beacon Hill.

“In 2010, entrenched interests like the Boston Teachers Union promoted the claim that “Race to the Top” would not improve education. But it did, through both charter school expansion and district school turnarounds. Secretary Duncan will visit both these models of reform on this trip: success stories that would not have been possible if we listened to those same groups with a direct financial stake in the process that are objecting to the current bill. President Obama challenged Democrats to rise to the occasion in 2010, and we have to again now.

“The educational policies that President Obama and Secretary Duncan promote are difficult for adults, especially politicians. But let’s focus on kids. These changes have worked for Massachusetts, and we need more. Our kids deserve better.”

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Photo credit: Boston Globe