Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chamber responds to charter school and Readiness school proposals filed by Governor Patrick today

The Chamber applauds the proposal by Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary of Education Paul Reville to advance public education in the Commonwealth.

The Chamber strongly believes that we need more innovation, creativity and successful new approaches to learning in our public education system. Increasing the number of charter schools has long been supported by the Chamber and the employer community as the best way to achieve these goals and strengthen development of the state’s workforce. Charter schools offer new educational opportunities and provide encouragement to parents and educators seeking greater creativity and flexibility. They have also proven to be an effective tool in closing the achievement gap between low-income and minority students and their peers, a critical issue for schools in urban areas throughout the state.

Governor Patrick’s proposal addresses these goals in several ways, including: increasing the cap on charter schools in the lowest performing districts; creating Readiness Schools, which will utilize increased autonomy and flexibility; and establishing strong new mechanisms for the Commonwealth to turnaround underperforming schools.

These proposals indicate a willingness to challenge the status quo in order to greatly improve our education system. The Chamber will continue to work with administration officials, legislative leaders, and all interested parties to provide more innovation in the public schools and strengthen educational opportunities for children in the Commonwealth.

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