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: 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. 


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.


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


Public Policy Updates: Joint Committee on Ways and Means Hearing for FY19

The Joint Committee on Ways and Means held their hearing on local aid and education at Peabody City Hall on Monday, March 19, 2018. The Peabody High School Chorale opened the hearing with the National Anthem and two other pieces. 


Public Policy Updates: February Board of Education

The February meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education took place on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. In his opening remarks, Acting Commissioner Wulfson acknowledged the hard work of districts on two recent releases of good news for the Commonwealth. First, Massachusetts led the nation in the percent of the graduating class to score three or higher on Advanced Placement exams; Wulfson noted that this measurement not only rewarded high scores, but rewarded percentage of students participating and achieving them. Wulfson likewise noted the graduation data released earlier this week, marking the eleventh consecutive year in which Massachusetts increased the graduation rate; more was said on this topic later in the meeting. He also noted the first year of collected restraint data, cautioning that the first year of data, while important, was little to from which to draw conclusions.