Massachusetts’ Governor Deval Patrick has selected Matthew H. Malone as the new state superintendent of education.
Malone has had an interesting past decade.
He is a graduate of the unaccredited Broad Superintendents Academy, class of 2003, which is a worrisome sign as Broadies tend to be lightning rods and alienate the communities they are supposed to serve.
He is currently superintendent in Brockton, Massachusetts, where the town board recently voted 5-2 not to renew his contract. Reportedly, they were annoyed that he never took up residence in the district and had failed to conduct routine criminal checks on employees.
On the plus side, he opposed the opening of a charter school in 2008 in Brockton on grounds that the charter would cherry-pick students and drain the budget of the public schools.
When the charter proposal was revived in 2012, Malone again led the opposition. If approved, the charter will be run by for-profit SABIS.
If Malone is willing to stem the privatization tide, he will be a good state commissioner. He will be even better if he figures out how to work cooperatively with the state’s teachers and local school boards. I hope he keeps front and center the fact that public education in Massachusetts is a great success story. The hard-working professionals need appreciation, and the public needs to hear it.