Charlie Baker on Education



Lift the cap on public charter schools

In Massachusetts, we're home to some of the highest performing public schools in the country, many of which are public charter schools serving low-income families in communities of color. In fact, they had higher scores than students from every K-8 school in Massachusetts. A state that places such high value on education should not place arbitrary limits on high-quality schools. I urge you to lift the cap on public charter schools.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Massachusetts legislature , Jan 21, 2016

Opposes Common Core, but willing to work with federal system

Baker: "I'm the only person in Massachusetts who testified against going with Common Core at the hearing in 2010 before the Board of Education. And I had three major concerns. First was that we didn't know what it was. We were basically being asked to buy into something that was behind the curtain and to be built later. That troubled me. Secondly, Massachusetts had led the pack on education reform and had high standards, and a high stakes test in place for 20 years that seemed to be working pretty well, and I worried a lot about turning over [something] so fundamental to our state's success, to a federal bureaucracy.

"But my view on this is a little more practical, which is if working within the framework of whatever the national standard is still give Massachusetts the ability to chart its own course, I'm happy to play there. But if it turns out we can't do what makes Massachusetts great within that framework then yeah, we get out." (WBUR, 8/13/2014)

Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.173 , Sep 1, 2014

I attended public schools, and so do my three kids

In 2010, Baker highlighted his and his children's attendance at MA Public Schools and claimed that MA students "rank number one in the country in math and English. Massachusetts students rank number one in the country in math and English. Baker told the Board that giving up control over our standards [to the federal Common Core] and "tinkering with this proven track record makes no sense."

"I grew up in Massachusetts and attended Massachusetts public schools. All three of my children have attended public schools here, and as a parent I am proud of the high standards all students are held to here. It sets us apart," Baker said. "Not only does this move reek of political expediency, it has the potential to erode the gains our students and our schools have made during the past two decades." (Press Release, accessed in 2014)

Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.180 , Sep 1, 2014

Pioneer Institute: promote charter schools

From 1988 to 1990, Baker was a founding co-director of The Pioneer Institute, a Boston think tank. He also served on Pioneer's board of directors until 2004 and contributed from time to time to its publications and work product. Pioneer's longstanding focuses include taking on state laws and policies seen as too friendly to unions or state employee interests, education reform with a stress on charter schools and testing, and skepticism on health care reform.
Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p. 42 , Sep 1, 2014

Improve public schools, plus college tuition reform

Baker "spoke about his action plan for economic recovery, fostering job growth, increasing local aid, improving public schools and college tuition reform." Baker addressed the Holbrook Republican Town Committee Oct. 1. The Town Republican Committee Chairman said Baker outlined his campaign to win his 2014 State House run and spoke about his action plan for economic recovery, fostering job growth, increasing local aid, improving public schools and college tuition reform. (Framingham TAB, 10/18/2013)
Source: Mass IEPAC: Research Profile on Charlie Baker, p.139 , Sep 1, 2014

Increase charter, magnet, and alternative public schools

I have a personal investment in our state's education system. I attended Needham Public Schools. My three children are products of Swampscott Public Schools. I served on the Massachusetts Board of Education.

To meet tomorrow's economic challenges; Massachusetts must put students and teachers first. I believe our school system must put aside the politics, and promote accountability, flexibility, performance and innovation.

I believe education is a civil right. As Governor, I will focus on closing the educational achievement gap among underprivileged and minority students, because every student deserves the opportunity to compete and succeed in the future. Not one, single child in Massachusetts should be trapped in an underperforming school.

We should expand public school choice by increasing the number of charter, magnet, and alternative schools, because meeting the promise of our next generation begins with strengthening Massachusetts' public schools.

Source: 2010 gubernatorial campaign website, charliebaker2010.com , Nov 1, 2010

Teachers' unions put their own interests above students'

With teachers' unions in Bridgewater &Raynham attempting to block volunteers from keeping the school library open, Charlie Baker on said the situation is emblematic of how unions and special interests have too much power across the state and on Beacon Hill. The teachers' union in Bridgewater and Raynham is locked in a battle with the school officials and parent advocates who are trying to find a way to keep the library open after budget cuts, despite recent local property tax overrides and $1 million in federal stimulus money to the schools.

"This is the mentality union bosses have been able to get away with under Governor Patrick," said Baker. "It is outrageous that the unions would put their own interests above what is right for the students." The Massachusetts Teachers' Association has been helping to fund attack ads against Baker, trying to distort his record and attacking him for pledging not to raise taxes if elected.

Source: 2010 gubernatorial campaign website press release , Oct 12, 2010

Other governors on Education: Charlie Baker on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
John Kerry
Martha Coakley
Mo Cowan

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Fulop(D) vs.Lesniak(D)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2016:
DE: Bonini(R) vs.Carney(D)
IN: Pence(R) vs.Gregg(D)
MO: Hanaway(R) vs.Brunner(R) vs.Kinder(R) vs.Greitens(R)
MT: Bullock(D) vs.Perea(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.McChesney(D)
NC: McCrory(R) vs.Cooper(D) vs.Spaulding(D)
ND: Dalrymple(R) vs.Stenehjem(R) vs.Becker(R) vs.Heitkamp(D) vs.Pomeroy(D)
NH: Hassan(D) vs.Bradley(R) vs.Sununu(R) vs.Lavoie(R) vs.Connolly(D) vs.Dextraze(I)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Niemeyer(R) vs.Pierce(R)
UT: Herbert(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Cook(D)
VT: Shumlin(D) vs.Minter(D) vs.Dunne(D) vs.Scott(R) vs.Lisman(R) vs.Smith(D)
WA: Inslee(D) vs.Bryant(R)
WV: Kessler(R) vs.Cole(D)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2015):
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
OR-D: Kate Brown
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Lame ducks 2015-16:
DE-D: Jack Markell
(term-limited 2016)
KY-D: Steve Beshear
(term-limited 2015)
LA-R: Bobby Jindal
(term-limited 2015)
MO-D: Jay Nixon
(term-limited 2016)
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
(retiring 2016)
WV-D: Earl Ray Tomblin
(term-limited 2016)
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Page last updated: Sep 10, 2016