MAYNARD- Candidate for the MA State Senate Dean Cavaretta (R-Stow) has issued the following statement showcasing the utter desperation of MA Democratic Party Communications Manager, Kevin Franck to try and link comments Cavaretta made in an online live chat appearance, with the silly assertion that Dean somehow claimed the endorsement of President Bill Clinton.
Here are the 5 top differences between myself and my 2012 State Senate Opponent:
#1 HE has voted to raise major state taxes in this Great Recession; Economically, I do not believe now is the time to raise Massachusetts taxes on anyone, or propose major new regulations on small businesses.
CAVARETTA CALLS ON OPPONENT TO DEBATE EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND THE FUTURE OF STATE TRANSPORTATION
STOW - Dean Cavaretta, Republican candidate for the Massachusetts State Senate, today called upon his Democratic opponent to debate education, health care and state transportation issues in the Middlesex and Worcester District.
"I am running for State Senate to offer new policies that will put education and the economy first," said Cavaretta in a statement. "My newly launched Education Web site will help me show voters how I will use my skills as a former teacher to support accountable and local education reform."
www.MomsAndDadsForDean.com features a collection of education-related information about Cavaretta and his 2012 campaign.
As an example, Dean's new site includes detailed information about Cavaretta's professional experience in the Ashland, Lexington, Acton-Boxborough and Concord Carlisle school systems - skills the candidate says make him perfectly-suited to know how to improve public education in Massachusetts.
Cavaretta has taught 8th grade, U.S. History in Lexington. Previously, he student-taught at Ashland High School while concurrently working as the History Department's Special Education Aide. He has also works as an area substitute teacher, and taught ESL and Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs to adult learners at the ABE Program at Devens and Mt. Wachusett Community College.
SAVE MEDICARE FOR SENIORS
"My opponent owes us an explanation why he continues to support a VT or Canadian-style health care system for Massachusetts when he knows such a massive expansion of government, even with all the tax increases would bankrupt our state," said Cavaretta.
"Our cities and towns lack the Local Aid they need to deliver essential services, and our state transportation network is in need of faster project delivery. Yet, my opponent, just this week, insists on imposing an unworkable health care scheme called 'MA Medicare for-All' that he knows would put us even further behind financially. During this fiscal emergency, I believe we have a responsibility to save Medicare for seniors first."
Cavaretta has proposed setting the bold goal of making all MA infrastructure projects take six years or less and transform the state's Project Delivery Process, similar to pilot reforms he previously worked on with the Governor's 8-year, Accelerated Bridge Program.
"I'll insist on performance based management and on-time delivery for all of MassDOT and the MBTA because reforming state transportation is central to our Economic Recovery," said Cavaretta. I've already done this at MassDOT and in the private sector, and will use my proven experience to get better results for our communities."
Cavaretta has proposed that the two Middlesex and Worcester State Senate candidates debate at a public forum to be held within their district sometime in the next 2 months.
During my tenure as Governor of Massachusetts I had to make many important decisions. I am writing now to ask that you join with me by making another important decision for our Commonwealth.
Throughout my years of public service our Commonwealth enjoyed tremendous triumphs, which included the landmark Education Reform Act, creation of tens of thousands of jobs and a reduction in the state's income tax rate.
Indeed, my Administration was able to get Massachusetts moving in the right direction and as a result our state enjoyed many years of prosperity and success that are now a distant memory for too many of our fellow citizens. But, our accomplishments came as a result of intense cooperation, compromise and consensus building among all branches of MA government.
Although we had differences, we were able to work with legislators to build consensus and come to agreement on many contentious issues.
Now, as our state is facing high unemployment, an increased tax burden and a dismantling of our educational gains, we need leaders that understand the importance of consensus building.
That is why I am pleased to announce my endorsement of Dean Cavaretta for State Senate.
As our next State Senator, Dean has the temperament, work ethic and skill set we need to get Massachusetts moving in the right direction once again.
Dean has what it takes to be a great State Senator. His commitment to public education, his pledge to keep taxes low and his jobs plan will help get MetroWest and Assabet Valley working again. These are all important issues that Dean is on the right side of.
Dean Cavaretta is putting education and the economy first. Can you join with me today in support of his candidacy?
You can volunteer or donate online by visiting www.DeanCavaretta.com and www.MomsAndDadsForDean.com
Or, please make checks payable to:
The Cavaretta Committee
Post Office Box 136
Stow, MA 01775
We are facing some important decisions this November and it is just as important that we elect leaders that have the right priorities for Middlesex and Worcester, our state and, most importantly, our people.
Please join with me and help Dean Cavaretta for State Senate. Dean has my backing and I hope that you can take action and support him during this important election.
Argeo Paul Cellucci
Governor of the Commonwealth
(For every 10 spam posts I delete, Eno let's me blatantly plug one of my local candidates! Dean is running vs. "Progressive" Jamie Eldridge in the Middlesex & Worcester District. - promoted by Paul R. Ferro)
New Site Focuses on State Senate Candidate's Support for Education And Credentials As a Former Public School Teacher
STOW - Stow resident Dean Cavaretta, candidate for Massachusetts State Senate in the Middlesex and Worcester District, is featured in a new Web site highlighting his support for public education and his experience as a licensed public school teacher.
The Web site, MomsAndDadsForDean.com, was officially unveiled by the Cavaretta for State Senate campaign today.
"I am running for State Senate to offer new policies that will put education and the economy first," said Cavaretta in a statement. "This new Web site will help me show people how I will use my skills as a former teacher to support accountable and local education reform."
MomsAndDadsForDean.com features a collection of education-related information about Cavaretta and his campaign.
For example, the site includes detailed information about Cavaretta's professional experience in the Ashland, Lexington, Acton-Boxborough and Concord Carlisle school systems - skills the candidate says make him perfectly suited to know how to reform public education in Massachusetts.
A biographical page on the Web site notes that Cavaretta became dual-certified to teach United States History and Political Science to Grades 5-12 by the Massachusetts Department of Education. He taught U.S. History to eighth graders in Lexington. He also completed Secondary Education and Student-Teaching Coursework with Framingham State College's Post Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure (PBTL) Program. Cavaretta student-taught at Ashland High School while concurrently working as the History Department's Special Education inclusion aide. He has served as a substitute teacher in different systems, and has taught ESL and Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs to immigrant, adult learners at the ABE Program at Devens and Mt. Wachusett Community College (Adjunct Instructor), as well as at a Brazilian church founded in Marlborough.
The site also points out that Cavaretta has combined his teaching skills and a love of sports to help student-athletes achieve success on and off the playing fields. He served as the Freshman Football Coach at Concord Carlisle Regional High School and Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. He was also Head Junior Varsity and Assistant Varsity Lacrosse Coach at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, where he is a proud member of the Acton-Boxborough Athletic Hall of Fame.
MomsAndDadsForDean.com also contains information about how Cavaretta intends to reform public education, including a Ten-Point Plan the candidate is proposing as part of his campaign. Cavaretta has repeatedly vowed he will be the "Education State Senator" if he is elected, focusing on policies that grant higher performing school districts, including Middlesex and Worcester, more autonomy over school building assistance, regionalization agreements and curriculum decisions. Cavaretta also supports an MCAS Exam for U.S. History and greater state assistance for training rookie teachers, calling professional development "the new unfunded mandate" in Massachusetts Education Reform that needs to be fixed.
The Web site also contains testimonials from people supporting Cavaretta's candidacy.
Residents wishing further information about Cavaretta and his campaign can also visit the campaign's existing Web site, DeanCavaretta.com, in addition to following the candidate on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
It is baffling and telling that State Sen. Jamie Eldridge is scheduled to again travel outside his Middlesex & Worcester District (Wednesday evening, 3/14) to try and sell his Medicare-4-All Plan, (modeled after Canada or VT), when policy makers should be doing everything they can to save the near bankrupt Medicare for Seniors.
The Eldridge Bill in the MA State Senate (S Bill 509) contains FIVE new state taxes on income, capital gains, payroll, employees and employers. It will cause private sector layoffs, drive Mass. doctors from medicine, and reduce the quality of care throughout our state.
ITEM: Across my district Local Aid is down, Property Taxes are up and Home Values are falling. Road, Bridge and MBTA jobs take 7-10+ years to build. Chapter 70 School Aid relative to MetroWest vs. the Big Cities is still not equitable.
Yet, Greater Marlborough's State Senator this winter and spring has focused almost exclusively on repeating the Evergreen Solar boondoggle for new job creation, a non-binding resolution re: a U.S Supreme Court Decision, changing the Electoral College to a popular vote, and a Single Payer Health Care Bill that is so radical and unworkable it would never pass the Legislature.
It is time to put Education and the Economy first, rather than a failed and progressive policy agenda catered exclusively to the Special Interests. Let's speed up road, bridge and MBTA projects, create new jobs by supporting all small businesses and improve public education by once and for all eliminating unfunded state mandates that cost-shift expenses on to local taxpayers.
2012 Candidate for State Senate
BOSTON - (March 1, 2012) Massachusetts regained the top spot on the 11th Annual Beacon Hill Institute's State Competitiveness Report. Last year the Bay State ranked third behind Colorado and North Dakota, which finished first last year. Longstanding strengths in human resources, technology and openness buoyed Massachusetts.
The BHI competitiveness index is based on a set of 44 indicators divided into eight sub-indexes - government and fiscal policy, security, infrastructure, human resources, technology, business incubation, openness, and environmental policy. The breadth of the BHI index distinguishes it from more narrowly-focused measures of competitiveness that target only taxes, high tech, or economic freedom.
Massachusetts continues to show real strengths in its human resources (particularly with its top-scoring student achievement), technology (with its large base of scientists and engineers and high-tech employment) and business incubation, where Massachusetts draws the top ranking in terms of venture capital per capita. The state ranked first with the fewest number of residents going without health insurance. It is a favorite destination of National Institutes of Health grant money.
With the introduction of the Great Teachers Great Schools initiative - An Act to Promote Excellence in Public Schools – earlier this month, and the subsequent lawsuit the MTA filed to challenge Attorney General Martha Coakley’s decision to certify the initiative, a lot of information, some accurate and some inaccurate, has been circulating throughout the Commonwealth.
One point being made is that a recently updated and more rigorous teacher evaluation system is already being implemented. Stand for Children was proud to join the MTA, state education leaders, and other stakeholders in advocating for that new system. Not only did we sit on the task force that made an initial set of recommendations, we educated and mobilized our membership on the issue, generating 700 pieces of written testimony from educators and parents that were submitted to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
All groups involved in advocacy around the content of the regulations were unanimously committed to creating a more functional and productive evaluation system centered on improving teaching and learning. While these evaluations represent a step in the right direction, unless key changes are made to state law, there is still no promise that all school districts will be using them as a benchmark for teacher placement anytime soon.
Will ensure that every classroom is led by an effective teacher. This is critical to closing the alarming achievement gap in Massachusetts.
Takes current evaluation systems one step further by guaranteeing that they will be consistently implemented by schools across the Commonwealth.
Has received significant statewide support - a UMASS Amherst poll showed 85% of MA voters believe teacher staffing decisions should be based on performance rather than how long a teacher has been in the classroom.
Successfully passed all procedural and constitutional reviews for introduction into the state legislature
Yesterday, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin transmitted to the state legislature An Act to Promote Excellence in Public Schools. The proposed initiative, if passed, would make necessary changes to state law to ensure every public school in Massachusetts gives effectiveness a more prominent role than seniority in decisions regarding teacher assignments and layoffs. This very concept not only has significant support from Massachusetts voters (with a recent UMASS Amherst poll showing 85% of voters approving), it is a critical next step to closing the achievement gap and providing every child in Massachusetts, regardless of their background or zip code, access to a great education.
Massachusetts has always been a leader in public education; we had the nation’s first public high school and consistently rank high on national and international assessments. Yet, we still have incredible inequities within our schools. The large achievement gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from their peers clearly demonstrate that we are failing too many of our kids in too many of our schools.
Massachusetts is my home. I was born and raised in Fall River, and I have always been proud of the strong value our Commonwealth places on education. As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I experienced the power that a quality education has to change students’ lives and increase their chances to succeed. And in my years as a teacher in one of the nation’s toughest school districts, I saw firsthand the power that teachers have to transform kids’ lives.
After graduating from Boston College, I taught 6th grade math and science in East Oakland. One of my students entered my classroom years behind his peers and far behind where he needed to be to succeed. To cope with the embarrassment of not being able to read, he would often act out in class, which led many adults in previous years to give up on him. I couldn’t accept that. Instead of writing him off, I pushed him, encouraged him, told him he would succeed, and raised his and my expectations for what he could become. And he rose to the occasion. In just one year, he grew academically at an astonishing pace, proving to himself and the school that he could achieve. If he had continued down that path, with a great teacher pushing him to achieve every year, he would have been back on track with his peers in just a few years. Unfortunately, the school system failed him. He wasn’t pushed, wasn’t supported, wasn’t challenged, and as a result, he’s no longer with us. He suffered the same fate too many of the kids we fail face when he dropped out of school and his life was taken at a young age due to gang violence.
I hold the story of this child – a young person who had a real chance to succeed if adults in the school system hadn’t failed him – close to me every day as I advocate to improve our public schools. He proved that if we give children a chance, and push them to be the best they can be, they can achieve.
That’s why I am proud of the work Stand for Children has done since 2003 to improve public schools across the Commonwealth, including leveraging more than $1.35 billion for our public school classrooms and helping to pass health benefit reform legislation, allowing communities throughout Massachusetts to save millions of dollars that helped to save teachers’ jobs, upgrade classroom technology and ultimately build better, improved schools for Massachusetts’ children.
Yesterday, as Secretary Galvin prepared to transmit the initiative to the State House, we launched a new website for the Great Teachers Great Schools campaign to inform, engage and mobilize voters to take action on this important issue. I invite you to learn more about this campaign at www.greatteachersgreatschools.org, where you can watch a video that features parents, teachers and school leaders from Massachusetts speaking about the significance of putting performance first in teacher assignment decisions.
Now that the initiative has been presented to the legislature, lawmakers have an opportunity to do what an overwhelming majority of Massachusetts voters support – ensure our schools promote and recognize teachers based on performance, not just seniority. Whether a teacher started 25 years ago or yesterday, we should show them the respect they deserve for mastering their craft and getting results for all children. In passing the changes to state law in the proposed initiative, lawmakers will ensure no child spends another minute in a classroom where they are not learning, living up to the longstanding and deeply-held Massachusetts value of providing a great education to all children.
I look forward to working with our elected leaders, parents, teachers, students and advocates in the coming months to accomplish this for our kids. Please join us – to learn more, get involved and take action, please visit the Great Teachers Great Schools website today and help us achieve this victory for all children in Massachusetts.
Sal Khan, online education innovator, spoke at our 14th annual Peters Lecture last week. He talked about how Khan Academy became a platform serving millions of kids around the world. He's witty, humble, and a great inspiration to all Americans. Here's the video.
The Peters Lecture was a special event for Pioneer members but most of our events are free and open to the public. We have a digital learning forum coming up on December 5th, featuring Julie Young, CEO of Florida Virtual School, and Jane Swift, former Massachusetts Governor, who is now with CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages, LLC, a joint venture between K12, Inc., the largest virtual school provider in the United States, and Middlebury College. Please join us! Refreshments will be served
Monday, December 5, 2011
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Omni Parker House
60 School St., Boston MA
RSVP to Brian Patterson by Nov. 28th at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-723-2277 ext. 217
Back in February, Bill Gates gave an interesting lecture regarding the effects of unsustainable State Budgets on public education. He brings up a key point, one which lawmakers everywhere, but especially Massachusetts, should take note of - unfunded liabilities will not be remedied by increased revenues, but by increased reform. You can see the video here -
TX Education Commissioner Robert Scott talks about why his state wants no part of Common Core national standards, and Pioneer's Jim Stergios moderates a panel discussion that includes the nation's top experts in education policy and standards. Definitely worth watching - this issue is sure to come up during campaign season.
(Senator Hedlund, aren't you aware that US History is the story of oppression? We can't be glorifying oppression can we? - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
During budget debate today, I offered an amendment that would have required the social sciences and history portion of the MCAS contain United States history and make that portion a graduation requirement.
The Board of Education has continuously delayed the implementation of this portion as a graduation requirement and I have heard from educators that more emphasis and funding is put towards the subjects (Math, Science, and English) that are currently graduation requirements.
Additionally, this amendment would have protected the teaching of United States history by stripping the Board of Education of the power to remove United States history from the core curriculum.
My Democratic colleagues said the State Senate was not the "appropriate" forum to make these changes and that it should be further vetted, however these very same colleagues implemented their own changes MCAS and put in place a classroom domestic violence program without vetting them through the "appropriate" forums.
As a former high school history teacher, who was a casualty of a "last in, first out" layoff in 2006, I have been watching closely an issue that seeks to change the manner in which we evaluate educators and how school districts handle workforce reductions - a difficult reality, but an issue that thousands and thousands of workers have gone through in the private sector here in Massachusetts, and in the entire country for well over 4 years now.
Massachusetts should follow the recent trend of establishing more effective teacher evaluation systems, a push started by the State of Florida, Gov. Christie in New Jersey, and brought to a national level by U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman, Scott Brown, and Mary Landrieu.
Now, even the Patrick Administration is trying to improve teaching quality throughout the state in a similar fashion. You can read an article about it here -
Yesterday, the lower house of the legislature passed a bill that would essentially make state colleges in the Commonwealth into state universities.
Since it doesn't seem like a particularly partisan issue - or at least one that is overly cut and dried - I figure that it might serve as an interesting point for discussion here. So, in my inaugural diary here at RMG, I put the question to anyone who might read this here and see fit to respond.
Cosmetic or substantial?
Context or content?
Misguided or well-taken?
Back in January, the Legislature took the bold step of doubling the number of charter school seats in low-performing schools districts, offering hope for a longer school day and better classrooms for thousands of children from poor families. The Senate, however, now looks determined to undermine its own good work by fiddling with the charter school funding process.
Right now, charter schools automatically receive funds according to the number of students they serve and the per-child spending in the districts where they are located. The Senate budget instead creates a separate line item for each charter school. That would make it easy for charter-school opponents to go after the budgets of individual schools. It's mischief, pure and simple. During debate on this year's education reform bill, the House blocked a similar effort by the Senate. House members of the conference committee should do so again during negotiations on the state budget.
The Secretary and Commissioner of Education have repeatedly said that they would not adopt national standards if they were weaker than Massachusetts state academic standards. I long ago stopped believing, even as friends in the media and elected officials told me otherwise.
Even as recently as May 20th, Secretary Reville noted to GateHouseNews Service:
"There's no plan whatsoever with how we're going to proceed on this," said Reville. "There's simply an opportunity for us to play a national leadership role."
He said the state had "absolutely no plan to replace MCAS."
So David over at Blue Mass Group is in a fit because I uttered the following words in my promotion of the ObamaLoan takeover.
We must work to stop this assault on our freedoms to do business with whom we want when we want. It is now illegal for you to go to your local bank with the express intent of borrowing money from them so that you can use it for educational expenses. The free marketplace where provider meets customer has been usurped.
I admit my phrasing is wrong. It is not illegal for you to go to the bank with the express intent of borrowing money from them to use for an educational expense. You are now unable to do so with a product called a student loan, at a decent interest rate. So my phrasing was wrong. But the fundamental premise is still the same. You can no longer go to your bank to get a "student" loan. But can go for a much higher interest rate loan without the backing of the federal government.
Let's look at the program as it was construed. you would go to a lender and obtained a government backed student loan. Which allowed that private lender to borrow money at 2.8% and lend to you at 6.8%. This was because their rate of bad loans would be very low because the Government backed the loans. Note the government did not borrow the money itself, only backed the loans.
There were a few good RMG discussions about education reform, such that when I ran across this NYT article from a few months ago, a few ideas came to mind.
And, typical of the NYT to ignore the obvious and get the obvious things wrong:
1. it will go completely unnoticed when unions ruin charters. just as the similarities between maps like this and this go unnoticed.
2. school 'reform' can never mean temporary solutions, such as charters, to fundamental problems, there were some good discussions about this previously in thread like this one.
3. the state always comes back into the house to molest success, no matter how many times it promises to leave
prediction: it's just a matter of time before all schools call themselves "charters" in the same way that all schools claim they're 'blue ribbon award winners' and the distinctions completely disappear, and in the meantime the total failure of government education continues on.
As More Charter Schools Unionize, Educators Debate the Effect
July 27, 2009 Monday
The New York Times
July 27, 2009 Monday
Late Edition - Final
SECTION: Section A; Column 0; National Desk; Pg. 1
BYLINE: By SAM DILLON
Dissatisfied with long hours, churning turnover and, in some cases, lower pay than instructors at other public schools, an increasing number of teachers at charter schools are unionizing.
Labor organizing that began two years ago at seven charter schools in Florida has proliferated over the last year to at least a dozen more charters from Massachusetts and New York to California and Oregon.
Charter schools, which are publicly financed but managed by groups separate from school districts, have been a mainstay of the education reform movement and widely embraced by parents. Because most of the nation's 4,600 charter schools operate without unions, they have been freer to innovate, their advocates say, allowing them to lengthen the class day, dismiss underperforming teachers at will, and experiment with merit pay and other changes that are often banned by work rules governing traditional public schools.
''Charter schools have been too successful for the unions to ignore,'' said Elizabeth D. Purvis, executive director of the Chicago International Charter School, where teachers voted last month to unionize 3 of its 12 campuses.
President Obama has been especially assertive in championing charter schools. On Friday, he and the education secretary, Arne Duncan, announced a competition for $4.35 billion in federal financing for states that ease restrictions on charter schools and adopt some charter-like standards for other schools -- like linking teacher pay to student achievement.
But the unionization effort raises questions about whether unions will strengthen the charter movement by stabilizing its young, often transient teaching force, or weaken it by preventing administrators from firing ineffective teachers and imposing changes they say help raise achievement, like an extended school year.
''A charter school is a more fragile host than a school district,'' said Paul T. Hill, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. ''Labor unrest in a charter school can wipe it out fast. It won't go well for unions if the schools they organize decline in quality or go bust.''
Unions are not entirely new to charter schools. Teachers at hundreds of charter schools in Wisconsin, California and elsewhere have long been union members, not because they signed up, but because of local laws, like those that extend union status to all schools in a state or district.