Discover Lasell

Governor Charlie Baker Speaks to Students about Goals for His Administration

October 26, 2015

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker spoke to Lasell undergraduates and other members of the Lasell community at a special guest lecture -- where he shared stories from his 2014 campaign as well as his thoughts on a range of issues, from charter schools to foster care.

Governor Baker, invited to campus by Political Science Professor Paul Debole, addressed an audience that consisted of undergraduate students, faculty, staff and residents of Lasell Village who packed de Witt Hall for the talk on Monday, October 26th.

Baker shared his thoughts on the importance of running for local office -- something he did in his hometown of Swampscott -- and how that set the stage for his eventual run for the state's top post.

"[In local government] there's no place to hide and it's all on cable TV," said Baker of being an elected local official. "There's also a tremendous amount of direct, constant feedback and there's a huge benefit in seeing the results of what you've been up to."

Baker took a few lessons from his time as a local official, and from his parents - who were members of different political parties and both worked at various levels of local and, in the case of his father, federal government.

The Governor joked with the Lasell audience about the lively debate at the Baker family dinner table as a child and how that helped him learn to discuss difficult issues with others without being "disagreeable."

Baker openly shared humorous stories about his decision to run for governor a second time and coming to peace with the idea of potentially being labeled a "two-time loser." (Baker lost his first gubernatorial run to Governor Deval Patrick in 2010.)

With the win under his belt, and after 10 months in office - including management of the snowiest winter in Boston's history - Baker discussed his philosophy of building his cabinet - political affiliation did not matter - and his efforts to create a bi-partisan approach to governing.

"The most important thing is honoring this opportunity given to me [by the people,]" Baker said.

Answering several questions from the audience, Baker spoke about his desire to level the playing field for all communities to provide youngsters a quality education.
"For me, you can't be serious about giving all kids a shot [at quality education] if you aren't serious about considering a mode that has shown success," said Baker, who is a vocal proponent of charter schools across the state.

Baker also spoke of the state Board of Education's current deliberations about state standardized tests and whether to keep or replace the MCAS test. Baker suggested that the Board of Education may decide to favor a test that is unique to Massachusetts but encompasses parts of other, similar exams.

The Governor also briefly discussed his thoughts on a foster care pilot program for older teens and his desire to create economically viable parcels out of unused, state-owned land.