I've been blogging for five years about the start-up, innovation economy and I almost never write about politics. But this week is different. This week, the Massachusetts Legislature is about to vote on a bill to (finally) reform education in Massachusetts – to lift the cap on charter schools, empower commissioners to reform the worst-performing schools and create "Readiness Schools" that get around the usual bureaucracy and drive towards academic excellence.
The importance of passing this legislation cannot be over-stated. I've been somewhat involved with education reform through my activities at Facing History and Ourselves and my role on the Governor's Readiness Finance Commission and I am passionate about its importance to our state's future. Local business leaders are all over this issue. Recently, a large coalition formed (including the Progressive Business Leaders Network) and organized by The Boston Foundation called the Race to the Top coalition has been hammering on this issue and building momentum. A strong education reform bill is now in front of the Legislature for a vote this week. The teacher's union is against the reform – no surprise – as it will reduce their power. And those of us who are passionate about the Innovation Economy in Massachusetts are too busy to hang around the State House and lobby.
So here's what you can do. Read this editorial in the Boston Globe by Scott Lehigh that summarizes the bill. If you agree with it, take action. Take two minutes to click on the link below and write your state rep or senator and send them the message that you are IN FAVOR of education reform and that they shouldn't give in to pressure from the teachers' unions. We desperately need to move forward on this issue and seize the moment.
And if you have a blog or tweet, spread the word! I'll tweet this from www.twitter.com/bussgang and you can retweet away. If you want, you can even use this Twitter list of the 17 state legislators who are on Twitter to send them the message. http://bit.ly/2VtWU7.
Take action – get engaged. Now is the time where the pro-reform voice needs to be heard.