Public Policy Updates

MASC reports on Massachusetts public schools, education news, school committee issues and updates from the Department of Education.

This information has been compiled by MASC Field Director Tracy Novick.

Public Policy Updates: October 2020 Board of Ed

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met for their October meeting on October 20 at 9 am in Malden. The agenda can be found here; the livestream is here

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Public Policy Updates: September 2020 Board of Education

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met for their regular September meeting back in person in Malden. The agenda for the meeting can be found online here. The video can be found here

The meeting opened with public comment from parents from Newton and Andover, expressing their dissatisfaction with the ways in which their school districts have opened. Both districts have some form of hybrid learning. Parents said that it was "unacceptable" and they felt "abandoned" by their districts. One called for changes in the state guidance around how classrooms and busing are to be carried out, as well as a waiver from the requirement that districts bus young elementary students. 
They were followed by Professor Pat McQuillan of the Lynch School at Boston College, who, speaking on behalf of his colleagues who are also history and social studies education professors, proposed that the MCAS this year should be replaced by the civics project now required by the state. Saying this proposal "has real world relevance and is an opportunity to empower learners," hesaid "I think you've got this thing knocked if you take a look at yourself." 

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Public Policy Updates: June 2020 Board of Ed

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met on Tuesday, June 30 remotely to close the school year. The agenda is online here; the videos of the meeting (of which there are three in sequence) begin here.

Chair Katherine Craven opened by commenting that the Board intends to continue to allow for some form of remote public comment even after the meetings are back together, as it has allowed for greater participation of more people from across the state. She also recognized newly appointed member Darlene Lombos of the Greater Boston Labor Council who is filling the labor seat vacated by Ed Doherty. 

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Public Policy Updates: May 2020 Board of Ed

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met remotely on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, for a rare afternoon meeting. The agenda can be found online here, video of the meeting here.

Chair Katherine Craven opened the meeting by speaking of the value of being as transparent as possible during this time, as they make plans for the nearly one million children impacted by the school closure. She spoke of her appreciation for those at the Department and in districts and of families, and said that the Department would share plans as soon as they are developed.

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