Posted inEducation

Falling short on school standards and funding

AS MASSACHUSETTS MARKS the 25th anniversary of a landmark Education Reform Act that propelled us to the head of the national class in public education, the Commonwealth’s latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are mildly encouraging.  But they alone cannot erase what has been nearly a decade of troubling news on […]

Posted inEducation

Pioneer pans PARCC, Common Core

A DAY AFTER a group of Massachusetts educators called on the state to adopt the new PARCC test, Boston-based Pioneer Institute issued a detailed report calling the Common Core-aligned PARCC test a flawed assessment and urging the state to reject its implementation and instead revise the state-based MCAS exam. Pioneer also rejected a third option […]

Posted inEducation

Chester pulls back from PARCC

MCAS or PARCC? “None of the above” now looks like the correct answer to that test question. What looked like an either-or choice between retaining the state’s MCAS exam or scrapping it in favor of the new Common Core-aligned PARCC test has taken an unexpected turn and landed on a compromise plan to develop a […]

Posted inEducation, The Download


CommonWealth‘s new fall issue set the table for the debate over whether to scrap the use of MCAS in Massachusetts schools in favor of the new Common Core-aligned PARCC test, and now the debate has fully engaged, with the Boston Globe devoting the entire two pages of its opinion section to the topic. The Globe editorial […]

Posted inEducation

State faces testing showdown

Photographs by Kathleen Dooher IN 2010, WHEN the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt the Common Core State Standards, it marked a big moment for the effort to get states to sign on to a common set of academic benchmarks for public school students. The existing Massachusetts standards were widely regarded […]