Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Party Lines

Politicians under fire sometimes shrink from the media spotlight. But not Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Jane Swift, who is attracting even more attention now that she's heading up Gov. Paul R. Cellucci's efforts to improve student performance on a critical state test.

Elected in 1998, Ms. Swift became embroiled in an ethics probe after questions arose about a series of actions she had taken, including having members of her staff babysit her young daughter and flying home during Thanksgiving week in a state police helicopter.

A week before Gov. Cellucci and Lt. Gov. Swift, both Republicans, presented their education agenda on Aug. 30, the state ethics commission ruled that at the very least, Ms. Swift had created the appearance of a conflict of interest. Penalties in the probe are pending.

State education officials say they welcome Ms. Swift's new focus on raising scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.

Lt. Gov. Jane Swift

"We're excited that the governor has decided that this is so important that he has his lieutenant governor working on it," said Deputy Commissioner of Education Alan P.G. Safran.

But her new role—what local newspapers have labeled "education czarina"—has left some people confused. "We're not quite sure how this fits with the position of the commissioner," said Stephen E. Gorrie, the president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association. "Just because you happen to be in the top echelon of government doesn't mean you know what's needed to improve schools."

He called Ms. Swift's drive to recruit volunteer tutors for 10th graders who don't pass the exam on the first try next spring "a nice gesture." But he questioned whether the initiative was just a political move from an administration that has delivered "more rhetoric than reality" on education.

—Linda Jacobson

Vol. 20, Issue 3, Page 8

Published in Print: September 20, 2000, as Politics
Related Stories
Web Resources

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >