BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matt Malone stopped by the Fox 25 Beacon Hill studio Wednesday morning.
Among the topics Malone discussed with Fox 25 commentator Doug "VB" Goudie were Gov. Deval Patrick's $1 billion ask for education in the state budget.
"Here's my issue. I hear consistently at the state-of-the-state that we are number one in math and science," asked VB. "If we're number one, why do we need an additional billion dollars every year?"
"Even though we're doing very well compared with the rest of the country, we can do better, said Malone. "We've got to compete internationally. Investment in early childhood education will get those scores up later on and will allow more kids to attend college."
"But you're talking about a billion dollars," said VB. "You're talking about real money here when people are hurting. People are saying, ‘Enough already.'"
VB asked Malone what would happen if the state didn't get the money.
"I think we still will be number one in math and science but we've got to get at reading proficiency by the end of third grade," said Malone.
Malone also discussed the state's MCAS tests.
"I think the MCAS is a great assessment in terms of providing a snapshot but should not be the sole measure of someone's proficiency," said Malone. "So we have got to look at a whole host of assessments – writing samples, project-based learning, deep level inquiry."
Malone also said over the next three years, Mass. will be transitioning to a nation-wide program known as the PARCC assessments. The assessment will evaluate Mass. students along with students from 46 states and the District of Columbia.
VB also asked Malone about former early education secretary Sherri Killins, who resigned earlier this month. Killins was living in Connecticut and participating in a superintendent internship while drawing a six-figure salary and being compensated for her travel.
"I hate to be the smart-ass in this case, but you're not looking for an internship while doing this job are you?" asked VB.
"I'm committed 110-percent to being the secretary of education. I've been on the job for 10 weeks. I was handed a situation and I took it very seriously. I investigated it and we're moving forward," said Malone. "I have got a great new commissioner in early education, he lives in Massachusetts."
VB also asked Malone if dodgeball was on the chopping block in Mass. after reports surfaced that it was being banned at a school district in New Hampshire.
"Dodgeball and kickball are probably the two greatest sports that we play in schools. As long as I'm secretary of education we're going to keep playing," said Malone.
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