Updated 02/21/2013 06:29 PM
Massachusetts Secretary of Education meets with Berkshire County officials and educators
Massachusetts' Secretary of Education visits the Berkshires for the first time. Matt Malone spent the day getting to know local officials and educators. He also heard their input on the governor's educational goals. YNN's Madeleine Rivera was there and has more details.
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BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. -- During his visit to Berkshire Community College, local officials and educators did not waste any time getting to know the new secretary of education and vice versa.
"It's been a great day for my own learning. First of all, it's a beautiful part of the state I've never been to," said Secretary of Education Matt Malone.
Malone took office last month. Since then, he's been promoting the governor's education goals and objectives including investments in early education, longer school days in middle schools and increasing college affordability.
"I'm focused that folks really understand the intricacies of this bold plan, how it addresses early childhood, K-12, higher ed, in a very strategic, well-thought of manner," he said.
Malone spent most of the day listening to officials, some of whom voiced their concerns about the ambitious agenda.
"Anything new is very difficult to implement and some of the things we spoke about as far as the mandated programs that are coming our way, given the last eight years of economic challenges we've had in our school systems, makes it more and more difficult," said North Adams Superintendent of Schools Jim Montepare.
"I just want to be sure in all the proposals that we're putting in that there's going to be accountability that goes along with it because we're asking the public to make a very big investment and they deserve to have accountability standards and there to be answers for it," said State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier.
Malone says he plans to collaborate with local officials and educators alike to achieve the goals set forth by Governor Patrick.