Take Governor Patrick, for example. He’s using the prospect of increased education spending to try to leverage a big tax hike, but hasn’t called for any important new reforms to the K-12 system. Nor has he displayed any interest in another charter school cap lift.
At the legislative level, the education reform movement has suffered a big loss with the departure of Marty Walz, the lightning-smart former House member who was the driving force behind the 2010 law. So far, no one in either chamber has shown a similar sense of urgency and determination.
On the city level, meanwhile, despite being thwarted in his two-year-plus effort to win a longer school day from the entrenched Boston Teachers Union, Boston Mayor Tom Menino doesn’t support raising the charter cap again. The only refreshing boldness we’re seeing there comes from City Councilor John Connolly, now a declared mayoral candidate, who backs both lifting the cap on charters and giving the traditional schools more autonomy, in part to bring about a longer school day.
In short, too many politicians have lapsed into a let’s-wait-awhile doze on education reform.