As Massachusetts grapples with whether or not students should switch to a new standardized test, the proposed new test is undergoing its own changes.
Beginning next school year, students who take Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Career (PARCC) exams will spend about 90 minutes less on testing. PARCC exams will also only be given once a year, instead of twice.
The change will affect students who take PARCC exams in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Currently, about half of Massachusetts' school districts take the PARCC exam. Read More →
School-based bullying for kids 12 to 18 appears to have dropped nationally in recent years, according to a new federal government survey.
About 22 percent of students reported being bullied at school in 2013, the first significant decline since the federal government began collecting data in 2005, according to a biennial survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics.
Dr. Kim Storey, a bully prevention expert and child development specialist unaffiliated with the survey, says she believes the decline is due to the "amount of programs, anti-bullying programs and intervention efforts in the schools." Read More →
BOSTON -- The Boston International High School in Mattapan, which is designed to serve English-language learners, had another new student on Wednesday morning whose first language was not English.
Incoming Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang was in the school to learn from students, teachers and administrators about their experiences in the district.
"I came to this country and had to learn English too," Chang told 10th grade student Loberno Merisier in the school's noisy cafeteria over a lunch of cheeseburgers, fat free milk and carrots with ranch dressing.
The visit was the first in a series of weekly tours of local schools that Chang and members of his transition team will take to learn about the atmosphere and day-to-day experiences in as many neighborhood schools as possible. Read More →
BOSTON -- During the second in a series of public conversations aimed at imagining the high school of the future, community members raised concerns about steps the district has taken to include students in the process.
Held at the new Boston Public Schools (BPS) headquarters in Roxbury's Dudley Square on Monday, about 60 educators, school officials, teachers, parents, students and others came together to submit their vision for how BPS high schools may look in the years to come. Read More →
When Kevin Liu hit the buzzer, the room held its breath. But the eighth grader from Indiana knew he had it.
"Fifteen," Liu said calmly.
And the room erupted in cheers.
A Different Type Of Sport
While Boston is a city that is no stranger to cheering for sports competitions, this week a group of dedicated fans took over the Sheraton Boston Hotel to rally on a different type of team.
For the very first time, Boston played host to the Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition, the mathematics equivalent to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Read More →
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. While it's always a good idea to appreciate the folks who have taught us over the years, this week marks a time for some public appreciation. So, of course, many have turned to Twitter to do so.
Here's a look at what people are saying: Read More →
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- In a wide-ranging conversation about race, poverty and corporate reform in public education, the writer, educator and activist Jonathan Kozol spoke on Wednesday evening about what he sees as public education’s most pressing challenges.
In the packed pews of First Parish Church in Harvard Square, roughly 250 people turned out to see Kozol in an event hosted by Citizens for Public Schools. The audience included teachers, education activists, union members, school officials and parents from throughout Massachusetts.
Here are Learning Lab’s four takeaways from Kozol’s remarks: Read More →
BOSTON -- Boston Public Schools has been awarded $100,000 in grant funding to expand arts education in high schools.
The grant is one of 22 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants awarded to Boston-area organizations on Wednesday. In total, Boston-area organizations are receiving $870,000 from this round of NEA grants to support local arts initiatives.
“Arts are critical to the social, emotional and academic growth of a student,” Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement. “We are grateful to the NEA for its support of our expansion efforts."
The money awarded to Boston Public Schools will support a two-year project to expand the work of the Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion Initiative into more high schools. Read More →
BOSTON -- A new report says that Massachusetts could boost statewide school achievement by reducing class sizes to 15 students in kindergarten through third grade, particularly in low-income schools, at an estimated cost of $161 million statewide.
The report, released last week by left-leaning research organization Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget), studied the outcomes of class reduction efforts throughout the nation and their costs. When implemented correctly, MassBudget finds, reduced class sizes can help raise students' academic performance and give teachers additional time to focus on class materials.
"What we see in looking at states that have reduced class sizes is that if you do it right -- that is if you can get class sizes in the early grades down to about 15 students with well qualified teachers -- it can have very significant effect in improving student learning," Noah Berger, president of MassBudget, said.
Class reductions efforts are most effective, the report finds, when they target students in early grades, students of color and low-income students. Read More →
"Laws are like adult versions of the rules," Emily Hodge, a white collar criminal defense lawyer, tells the attentive students. "What're we're going to do today is to figure out why we have rules."
On most days, Hodge, a lawyer with Boston-based law firm Choate Hall and Stewart LLP, presents to the U.S. Attorney's Office. On this recent Wednesday, however, she holds court with a different audience -- a fourth grade classroom at the Manassah E. Bradley Elementary School in East Boston.
She is one of 77 lawyers and judges visiting Boston public schools this week. The goal: Teach students about the law and give students the chance to nitpick their brains. Read More →