State education secretary Paul Reville, who is stepping down from his cabinet post in the Patrick administration, deftly managed to enlist the state’s largest teachers’ union in pursuit of aggressive education reform, with special attention on upgrading urban schools. Governor Patrick has chosen one of the beneficiaries of Reville’s work — outgoing Brockton school superintendent Matthew Malone — to fill the post. He should be a solid choice, as long as he keeps in mind what made Reville successful.
As an urban superintendent with prior teaching and headmaster experience, Malone should need no tutoring on public-school issues. Most of the education action during Patrick’s final two years in office will take place in urban districts, where the state must do more to close the achievement gap between low-income students and their suburban counterparts. Malone should bring special insights to this challenge.