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### Democrat Governor Maura Healy Advances Practical Education Reforms Amid Resistance from Teachers’ Union

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healy, a Democrat, is advocating for sensible education reforms despite facing opposition from the state’s teachers’ union.

In a recent interview, Healy emphasized two key areas – literacy instruction and high school graduation requirements – where the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) is working against what Healy and many others consider to be sound education policies.

Healy stressed the importance of utilizing science-based curricula for literacy instruction, stating that many districts are not effectively teaching children how to read using proven methods for success.

Earlier this year, Healy unveiled a program aimed at enhancing early literacy instruction by investing millions in three main objectives: retraining current teachers, properly educating future teachers, and assisting districts in transitioning to science-based reading instruction.

However, the MTA and Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents are currently opposing a proposal that would mandate districts to implement such evidence-based reading instruction, as reported by the Boston Herald.

Given the concerning nationwide literacy rates, with less than half of Massachusetts’ fourth graders proficient in reading and an even lower average for eighth graders, the science of reading has become a focal point for states.

Healy is also championing the preservation of the state’s high school graduation standards, which the MTA is against. Currently, high school students in Massachusetts must pass the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) to graduate, covering English Language Arts, Mathematics, and a Science or Technology/Engineering exam of their choice.

While some students may use Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to fulfill graduation requirements, the majority of students meet the MCAS standards. Despite this, the teachers’ union advocates for eliminating the test, arguing that it is merely an assessment tool rather than a true standard.

Healy, however, stands firm on the importance of maintaining graduation requirements, emphasizing the need to assess students’ academic progress effectively.

In a separate development, Louisiana’s governor rejected recent efforts to relax graduation standards, which would no longer necessitate students to demonstrate proficiency in reading and math to obtain a diploma.