States Journal: An F for Dukakis; Wake-up call; Batman to the rescue
Although Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts has won high marks from the afl-cio, which has endorsed his Presidential bid, he recently received a failing grade from his state's largest teachers' union.
"Our fair-haired champion, who was going to represent our interests, got an 'F' for his veto in July of $29 million in equal educational opportunity grants to the state's schools, Edward Sullivan, executive director of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, said last month during the union's annual summer leadership conference.
"I think Michael Dukakis needs to learn that he can't say one thing on television and return to the state and do something entirely different," the union's president, Rosanne K. Bacon, told conference participants. "He needs to hear that message loud and clear."
The message apparently got through. The Governor recently released $250,000 of the $1 million he had frozen in this year's budget for a program that will provide grants and relax regulations for schools that experiment with new forms of organization and give more authority to teachers.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer of Maryland thinks it's high time for his state board of education "to wake up and start thinking about the future."
"I'm not satisfied with the state board of education and I've expressed my dissatisfaction," the Governor said last month at a meeting of the Maryland Association of Counties. The board, he said, "should be doing some new and innovative ideas in education, not just the same old thing."
"There's a tendency among educators to listen to themselves," the Governor said. "There are some new ideas all over the country and I hope the state department of education will be doing some of them."
Texas schools should buy fewer workbooks and more comic books in order to spur more schoolchildren to read, a panel of the state's Select Committee on Education has suggested.
"When children read materials they select on their own, the impact equals or exceeds that of basal readers," the subcommittee on student performance and quality said in a report last month.
The governor created the committee earlier this year to make recommendations in the wake of a court ruling that struck down the state's school-finance system. The group plans to deliver its report to the legislature in October.