Civil Rights Groups Call For A Better Measure Of Accountability In Public Education

Civil rights groups say a broken system of accountability is leaving students of color behind. (Josh Reynolds/AP)

Civil rights groups say a broken system of accountability is leaving students of color behind. (Josh Reynolds/AP)

The country’s current education system is placing “tremendous burden on schools disproportionately serving low-income students and students of color” and leaving them under-resourced and ill-prepared, charged a coalition of civil rights groups in a letter to President Barack Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, congressional and state educational leaders.

Eleven civil rights groups released the letter Tuesday urging improved accountability at the local, state, and federal levels in order to increase equity and opportunity for students of color. The group wants to see government officials implement measures beyond high-stakes testing to make sure schools are serving students well. Read More →

School Committee Roundup: Norwood-Norfolk, Lanesborough, Wareham, Lexington

(West Tisbury Library Foundation/Flickr)

(West Tisbury Library Foundation/Flickr)

Norwood-Norfolk: Curriculum Committee Eliminated

A district-wide curriculum committee in Norwood-Norfolk Central School District has been eliminated, but will be replaced by a new group created to address curriculum and professional development issues, the Watertown Daily Times reports.

[Superintendent James M. Cruikshank] said he didn’t believe a group dedicated strictly to curriculum was necessary at this point. Read More →

Thomas Menino: Boston’s ‘Education Mayor’

Boston Mayor Tom Menino, center, greet students of Our Lady of Presentation School of the Brighton neighborhood in Boston, when they arrived for a graduation ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Friday, June 10, 2005. (Chitose Suzuki/AP)

Boston Mayor Tom Menino, center, greet students of Our Lady of Presentation School in Boston, when they arrived for a graduation ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Friday, June 10, 2005. (Chitose Suzuki/AP)

In his State of the City speech in 1996, delivered to a packed crowd at Jeremiah Burke High School, Mayor Thomas M. Menino famously said if he failed to improve schools in Boston “then judge me harshly.”

“I want to be judged as your mayor by what happens now in the Boston public schools,” he said the same night.

Menino, often proclaimed Boston’s “education mayor,” died Thursday. He was 71. Read More →

MCAS Vs. PARCC: What’s The Difference?

At one point, all of Massachusetts schools used Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams to measure student performance. Now, over half of the state’s school districts have switched over to a new standardized test — the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam.

Some parents, educators, and students may be scratching their head: What, exactly, is the difference? Read More →

Week Ahead: Scheduled Events In Education

Our weekly roundup of top education events in the state:

Saturday, October 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ClubZ! Tutoring of Chelmsford hosts “Outsmart the SATs – Maximize Your SAT Score!” at the Chelmsford Police Station Auditorium, 2 Olde North Road in Chelmsford. Do you struggle with timed, standardized … Read More →

School Committee Roundup: Hopkinton, Chelmsford, Marshfield, Easton, Bellingham, Berlin-Boylston

(Wikimedia)

(Wikimedia)

Here’s what’s happening right now in school districts across the state:

Hopkinton: Emergency Meeting After Drunk Bus Driver Transports Students

The Hopkinton School Committee held an emergency meeting in which Superintendent Cathy MacLeod criticized state regulations that require bus drivers undergo background checks that only go back 5 years. MacLeod says that policy is to blame for the incident, The Milford Daily News reports. Read More →

School Committee Roundup: Fitchburg, Westfield, Milford

(Stephan Savoia/AP)

(Stephan Savoia/AP)

Here’s whats happening right now in school districts across the state:

Fitchburg: School Committee Outraged Over Coakley’s Charter School Comments

Members of the Fitchburg School Committee ripped into Martha Coakley, Massachusetts’ attorney general and Democratic candidate for governor. Committee members expressed outrage and disapproval over Coakley’s remarks publicly supporting efforts to create a new charter school in the area, The Sentinel & Enterprise reports. Read More →

Board Of Education Places The State’s First Virtual School On Probation

State officials are considering whether or not to place the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, Massachusett's first virtual school, on probation. (Mary Ann Chastain/AP)

State officials placed the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, Massachusetts’s first virtual school, on probation. (Mary Ann Chastain/AP)

Educators around Massachusetts are closely monitoring the state’s exploration of virtual schools, which offer nearly all instruction online.

Now, due to low academic achievement and a failure to meet state curriculum standards, state education officials have unanimously approved probation for the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, Massachusetts’ first virtual school. Read More →

Week Ahead: Scheduled Events In Education

Our weekly roundup of top education events in the state:

On Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m EdCamp Malden hosts “EdCamp Malden 2014 Theme: ELL Success” at Malden High School, 77 Salem St. in Malden. The theme for this year’s day is “ELL Success” because we’re invested in learning … Read More →

Even With No Threat Of Ebola, BPS School Leaders And Nurses Prepare To Respond

(Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

(Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Several schools in Texas and Ohio closed following reports that a nurse infected with Ebola traveled to those areas. This has other school districts around the country looking for Ebola-like symptoms in staff and students and asking anyone with a fever about recent travel to West Africa.

There has been no reported threat of Ebola in Massachusetts schools, however, Boston school officials are preparing staff, just in case. Read More →