The Globe’s Aug. 7 editorial, “Massachusetts candidates shouldn’t be making promises in secret,” should be only the start of that conversation, especially when it comes to candidates’ positions on issues that the Massachusetts Teachers Association is aggressively lobbying. While I disagree with auditor candidate Chris Dempsey’s strong alignment with MTA positions, at least he has the courage to risk being held accountable.
The editorial also highlighted the MTA’s continuing efforts to cajole politicians into what would amount to lowering the state’s academic standards and reducing the accountability of the MTA’s members, to the potential detriment of our students, our economy, and our civil society. Given its purview in public education, the MTA, like politicians, should also be held to high standards of transparency and accountability. That will not happen unless politicians lead that charge so that voters — and parents — can see and question the realpolitik of education policy making.
Every candidate, including gubernatorial front-runner Maura Healey, who has touted her commitment to education and students while also aligning herself with the MTA, needs to be on the record about their stance on every aspect of education policy initiatives, not only those that grab headlines.
We are at a crossroads for education in the Commonwealth. Whether we will continue to lead the nation or backslide toward our past mediocrity is in the hands of our elected officials and our educators. Both need to always show their cards. Doing otherwise only leads people to assume the game is rigged, which only further erodes faith in government, authority, and our democracy.