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: June 2018 Board of Education

On Tuesday, June 26, the Massachusetts Board of Education held their final meeting of the school year. In opening the meeting, Commissioner Jeffrey Riley spoke of the Teacher of the Year event recently held, commenting that it was a great day to celebrate teachers. He announced the first of what will be an annual award in memory of the late Commissioner Mitchell Chester, honoring a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education employee, which he awarded to Russell Johnston, who filled a number of roles simultaneously this year. 

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Public Policy Updates: May 2018 Board of Education regular meeting

The regular May meeting was held, as is Board tradition, at the high school of their student member. In this case, Hannah Trimarchi is a senior at Marblehead High School, who was praised during the Marblehead welcome as "just the kind of student we're looking for." During opening remarks, Commissioner Riley passed along the condolences of the Board and the Department to Stoughton on the loss of their students. He also commented "while I have some issues" around the "Leading the Nation" campaign itself, that celebrating teachers and schools is incredibly important. Public comment largely focused on the history and social studies standards, discussed later in the meeting, with particular note of gaps in creating global citizens through in-depth study of regions and of race relations after the Civil Rights movement.

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Public Policy Updates: May 2018 Board of Education on Accountability

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education conducted their May meetings in two parts: a May 14 evening update on the accountability provisions, and a May 22 morning meeting to conduct their regular business and honor their outgoing student representative. The following covers the first meeting.

The Board plans to vote on the updated accountability regulations, as well as the accountability system itself, at their June meeting. Thus their May meeting, the video of which can be viewed here, was the final update prior to the vote. The presentation is available for you here. Per Assistant Commissioner Russell Johnston, the intent is to lay out a system that "meaningfully differentiates the progress schools are making" while also determining how assistance can be provided to the schools most in need of it. 

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Public Policy Updates: Ed Reform at 25

An early observance of the 25th anniversary of the 1993 Education Reform Act brought a host of familiar names to the State House: Weld, Reville, Driscoll, Antonucci, Birmingham. The gathering provided space both to celebrate the successes of the past decades as well as look ahead to what needed to be done.

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Public Policy Updates: March 2018 Board of Education

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education had a two part March meeting, for which the agenda can be found here

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