Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Regarding the new MA Secretary of Education...

Sorry for the long break in posting: holidays!
There's not much more to add regarding Governor-elect Baker's selection of James Peyser as Secretary of Education that isn't already revealed by his biography. I posted that with the notion that at least we knew where the administration in general was going; what I didn't entirely anticipate was that we'd have a "Dick Cheney heads up the vice presidential selection team" moment and Peyser would become Secretary of Education.
As Peyser's only experiences have been with cheerleading and funding charter schools and with standardized testing, we know what direction he's approaching this from; he has no experience in teaching, administrating, overseeing, or, honestly, having anything to do with public education at all, save his service as Undersecretary of--you guessed it--charter schools. Thus, I don't have a lot of confidence that we're going to see much that's of use to most of what we do in education in Massachusetts, 'though I would love to be surprised on this.
Before we give up in despair, however, realize that the Secretary of Education in Massachusetts oversees only the Executive office of Education, reporting to the Governor. Of the actual administration of K-12 education, the Secretary has a single seat of the Board of Education, the board that oversees the Commissioner, who in turns runs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Governor only further appoints members to the Board as the seats come up for renewal or become vacant; the incoming Governor, thus, is working with the currently appointed Board, not only newly appointed by him.
Other that? More reasons to go to Board of Ed meetings.

And on a related note: Secretary Malone's enthusiasm for all things education, both in person and on Twitter, will be sorely missed. Best wishes on your future endeavors, Mr. Secretary! 

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