November 19, 2015

Ready. Set. Prepared! [Video]

Isn’t this what employers and parents want and expect from our public education system? Here is an important message we’d like to share, courtesy of U.S. Chamber of Commerce Education and Workforce, about how what students learn today develops their skills for tomorrow. It is one reason why standards and assessments should […]
November 17, 2015
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MBAE Response to November 17, 2015 BESE Vote on PARCC

Download and print the MBAE statement here (Boston) November 17, 2015 – MBAE is pleased the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has acknowledged that MCAS has outlived its usefulness, but disappointed that the vote postpones the implementation of one, high quality assessment statewide for another year. We are […]
November 16, 2015

MBAE Testifies for One Test – PARCC

MBAE will be issuing a strong call for making a one-test decision rather than taking what The Boston Globe today called the “politically expedient” hybrid option at the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education later today. As we’ve said before, the Commissioner’s recommendation to put the student assessment decision on hold while […]
November 16, 2015

“Drop hybrid testing approach: Use PARCC”

This refreshingly candid and balanced analysis from the Boston Globe’s editorial board of Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester’s recommendation to the Board of ESE that Massachusetts adopt a hybrid assessment built from elements of MCAS and PARCC concludes: “The state clearly wants to “split the baby” for political reasons, but the […]
November 15, 2015

Impartial Reports Favor PARCC

As the decision about student assessments for Massachusetts approached, a number of studies were done looking at how MCAS compared to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC).  Here is a summary of those done by reputable researchers who presented an unbiased, evidence-based analysis. Included are […]
November 13, 2015
Commonwealth Magazine

“Chester recommends ‘MCAS 2.0′”

Michael Jonas reports on MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester’s official recommendation to the Board of ESE that Massachusetts adopt a new student assessment that would be a hybrid of MCAS and PARCC. What remains unclear is how much of either assessment will influence the […]
November 13, 2015

“Call it MCAS 2.0″

Jeremy Fox reports on the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester’s endorsement to the ESE Board of a new student assessment that combines elements of both MCAS and PARCC. “Chester’s proposal sets the stage for the first assessment overhaul in nearly two decades. But it […]
November 12, 2015
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MBAE Response to Commissioner Chester’s Recommendation for a Next-Generation MCAS

Download and print the MBAE statement here (Boston) November 12, 2015 – The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) is pleased that Commissioner Mitchell Chester recognizes it’s time to replace the current MCAS with an assessment more relevant for the world in which our students live. The Commissioner’s proposal to […]
November 12, 2015

Time to Move to PARCC

The Mass Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will make a major decision regarding standardized testing for the Commonwealth next Tuesday, November 17th. Massachusetts led standards-based education reform twenty years ago by establishing the highest set of education standards in the US, and working with educators and students to support their stepping […]
November 4, 2015

Foundation Budget Review Commission Issues Final Report

The Foundation Budget Review Commission completed its work of the past year and released its recommendations to the legislature on Monday, November 2, 2015. The most significant recommendation was to increase the foundation budget allocation for health insurance by linking it to average GIC rates. MBAE’s study from 2010, School […]
October 30, 2015
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Fordham Institute Compares PARCC and MCAS Tests – MBAE Statement

Download and print the MBAE statement here Statement in Response to Fordham Institute Report Comparing PARCC and MCAS Tests Statement can be attributed to Linda Noonan, Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) October 30, 2015 – Today’s Fordham Institute study confirms what educators and previous research has found […]
October 29, 2015

Editorial Urges MA to Adopt PARCC

In an editorial, the Cape Cod Times urges Massachusetts to retain its two hundred year legacy as the national leader in education reform “by adopting PARCC as the new measure of student readiness and achievement.” In its editorial, the Times cites a recent survey in which “more than two-thirds of […]
October 28, 2015

2015 National Assessment for Educational Progress Results Published

Today, the National Assessment Governing Board officially released results of the math and reading assessments administered earlier this year to 600,000 4th and 8th graders across the country. Massachusetts can continue to claim #1 status with our students earning top scores nationally. Nationally, however, the 2015 results are being widely […]
October 26, 2015

“Educators urge state board to adopt PARCC exam”

The Lowell Sun reports that “a group of 18 leading educators have signed their names to a push to keep the PARCC option alive.” According to the story, picked up from the State House News Service, the educators call PARCC a “superior assessment” and “are continuing to fight for the state […]
October 26, 2015
Passing Notes Masthead

PARCC Developments and Concerns About MCAS 2.0

In this issue: PARCC is still the answer | MCAS 2.0 could mean costs, delays and chaos | News Worth Highlighting  Read more *Summaries: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education devoted much of their meetings this week to the November 17 decision about whether to choose PARCC or MCAS.  […]
October 23, 2015
Worcester paper

“PARCC advocates firm in support of test despite compromise talk”

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports that “Despite the state education commissioner’s seeming openness to a compromise plan earlier this week, supporters of the PARCC test who gathered for a press event at the United Way of Central Massachusetts’s offices on Friday don’t plan to give up on the embattled MCAS […]
October 19, 2015

“Adopt PARCC – and ignore the political noise”

This Boston Globe editorial calls on Massachusetts to adopt PARCC stating that “…adopting PARCC promises to provide even better educational results for Massachusetts students. PARCC aligns with the Common Core national academic standards, diminishes the need for ‘teaching to the test,’ and provides more accurate assessments of student progress.”   […]
October 15, 2015
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“Panelists say PARCC better fits needs of today’s students”

  This piece in Boston’s Bay State Banner showcases prominent voices who agree PARCC better fits the needs of today’s students than MCAS.
October 15, 2015
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MBAE Response to Report on MCAS and PARCC

Download and print the MBAE statement here (Boston) October 15, 2015 – The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) appreciates the thorough attention Secretary Peyser and the Executive Office of Education (EOE) are paying to the need to set high standards at every grade level and provide an accurate measure […]
October 15, 2015
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MBAE Response to Mathematica Policy Research Study

Download and print the MBAE statement here (Boston) October 14, 2015 – The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education today rejected suggestions that simply raising the bar for math on the MCAS could be a serious alternative to the higher standards of the Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) test, urging state education officials […]
February 25, 2013

Governor’s Education Funding Plan Needs More Work

Whether or not you agree with the revenue proposals in Governor Patrick’s FY14 state budget, business leaders can support the priority given to improving education from pre-K through higher ed.  A high quality education system is an engine of economic growth.  In his arguments for new education revenue and spending, […]
November 16, 2011

Is Massachusetts on Track to Meet Race to the Top Goals?

One year ago, Massachusetts was awarded a $250 million Race to the Top grant that required implementation of far-reaching and some controversial policies with the goal of completing the unfinished work of education reform – closing achievement gaps and raising student achievement to the levels demanded by our global economy.  […]
April 5, 2011

Over $2 billion in federal ARRA money has been awarded to MA, where has it all gone?

At the beginning of the year, I raised concerns about whether ARRA funds are really making a difference in advancing education reform efforts in Massachusetts.  Since then, I’ve dug deeper into where all the money has gone and I’ve found that we are still waiting for investments in reform efforts […]
February 2, 2011

FY 2012 Budget Shows Promise and Pause for Ed Reform

With the Governor’s release of his FY2012 budget, it is encouraging to see education as one of his top priorities.  By increasing education funding by 5%, the Governor is clearly committed to sustaining the state’s leadership in student achievement.  However, what’s left unanswered for me is how much of this […]
January 7, 2011

ARRA: Just a Quick Fix or Long-Term Reform?

With a projected $1.5 billion to $2 billion budget gap this year, there will be scrutiny of past spending as the Massachusetts legislature begins its new session with balancing the budget at the top of its agenda. It’s been almost two years since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) […]
September 8, 2010

Massachusetts Leads the Way on New Tests

The usual critics have come forward to warn that the state’s leadership of a consortium that will be developing assessments tied to the Common Core State Standards is the end of MCAS.  This judgment is premature given  newspaper reports that quote state leaders contradicting this conclusion and a strong statement by Department […]
August 30, 2010

‘Surprises’ in Race to the Top

As the Deputy Director at MBAE, one of the main projects has been tracking, evaluating, and summarizing the education stimulus programs of which Race to the Top (RTTT) is, by far, the most high profile. As such, I’ve gotten quite familiar with the program, the state’s application, and the reporting […]
August 24, 2010

Massachusetts Wins in Race to the Top!

Massachusetts wins millions for education reform in landmark Race to the Top competition.
August 5, 2010

Massachusetts Organizations Win Millions Investing in Innovation

Update: The Department of Education has made their official announcement of the i3 grant winners – no changes from the leaked report, but they have posted a summary of characteristics of the winners as well as answers to frequently asked questions about the highest rated applicants. ************ The U.S. Department […]