Bad news from the Bay State. Just as we were ready to give Patrick the benefit of the doubt over his plan to raise charter school caps in low performing districts, Massachusetts State Secretary of Education Paul Reville starts reviling the state's sturdy and sensible U.S. and World History standards. The state has been debating how and when to update its standards and assessments since last year, when Reville commissioned a taskforce on 21st century "skills." The taskforce's recommendations, which were published last November, were vacuous and vague--and will eviscerate some of the best state standards in the country if adopted. Unfortunately, Reville hasn't changed his mind one bit. "It's a new era," he cooed at a recent meeting with higher education leaders. According to reports, Reville vigorously agreed with audience members who called the state history standards embarrassing and "the 'cold war school' of history from the 50s and 60s." News flash for Reville: there's nothing embarrassing about standards rooted in facts. We can only hope Massachusetts doesn't sacrifice a top-notch standards, accountability, and testing system at the 21st century skills altar.
"Education secretary discusses regionalization," by Steve Urbon, South Coast Today, February 4, 2009