The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 16, 2009

Badalament goes to Washington

Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) Principal Peter Badalament joined other Massachusetts educators to attend the LEAP Legislative Institute September 13 - 15 in Arlington, Virginia. They visited the offices of Senator John Kerry and six Massachusetts members of the House of Representatives, including Rep. Niki Tsongas of the Fifth District, which encompasses Carlisle.

“What a difference a year makes,” said Badalament. “Last year, education policy was a tough sell to lawmakers in the midst of the financial meltdown. The financial picture for the next year still looks dire, but policy-makers are at least willing to discuss education.” Badalament stated in a press release, “According to President Obama’s special Assistant for Education and former Senior Education Advisor to the late Senator Kennedy, Roberto Rodriguez, who addressed LEAP participants before their Hill visits, education is third on the President’s list of priorities behind healthcare reform and energy.”

Badalament thanked members of the Congressional delegation for the stimulus funding that lessened last year’s school budget cuts. He warned that for many towns, the next year may well be worse. “We still need help in providing the most basic services to our students. Districts should not have to choose between a guidance counselor and a fourth-grade teacher, or a school resource officer and a foreign language teacher. We need all of them, in order to deliver on our commitment to educate all the kids who walk in our doors each morning.”

The LEAP Institute is sponsored by the nonprofit educational leadership association ASCD, which brings educators from all over the United States to the nation’s capital to advocate for education policy. ASCD was formerly known as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. It is made up of superintendents, principals, teachers, professors of education and school board members. Badalament said the strength of the organization comes from its breadth of constituents and multi-partisan nature, which gives it more leverage in Washington. Badalament is the President of the ASCD’s Massachusetts affiliate (MASCD).

The ASCD members advocated for: • equitable access to educational options and experience,

• highly effective teachers who elicit growth in student achievement

• ongoing professional development for teachers

• a comprehensive assessment system that incorporates multiple and varied indicators and analyzes student growth over time

• an accountability system that discerns varying levels of performance in schools and districts

• an educational system that readies students for success in a global society.

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito