May 21, 2018

New Accountability Regulations Don’t Define School Rankings

The proposed regulations governing K-12 public school and district accountability and assistance in Massachusetts have been under review for several months by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and include some significant shifts.  The most salient is abandoning the five level pyramid that ranked schools, and thereby districts, […]
April 11, 2018

Massachusetts Leads the Nation on NAEP…But It Isn’t Enough

Yesterday’s biennial release of NAEP scores show that while the Commonwealth continues to rank #1 on The Nation’s Report Card, a deeper look at the data shows we have more to worry about than to crow about. Last week, when Massachusetts leaders celebrated 25 years of education reform with a […]
March 29, 2018

Federal law requires reporting of per pupil spending by school

Amidst the current debate about school funding in Massachusetts and growing calls for spending more, comes a potentially game-changing new federal requirement that will bring greater transparency to school spending.  The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed with bi-partisan support by Congress in 2015, requires states to report per pupil […]
March 27, 2018

Preparing for the Interview

An interview is simply a conversation. The rules for a successful conversation therefore also hold true for interviews, including: 1. Don’t interrupt, 2. Balance talking with listening, 3. Be honest, and 4. Take time to formulate your thoughts before answering the tough questions. Remember, if it’s the resume gets you […]
March 1, 2018

Expanding Access to Career Vocational Technical Education

MBAE is a member of the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education (AVTE), a broad-based association of diverse partners from across Massachusetts that seeks to increase access to high quality vocational education for middle and high school students in the Commonwealth—a mission supported by MBAE. The Alliance has worked over the […]
January 30, 2018

BESE Recommends Jeff Riley for Commissioner

Statement by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Vote to Recommend Jeff Riley for Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education January 29, 2018 – The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) congratulates Jeff Riley, current Receiver of the Lawrence Public Schools, on […]
January 29, 2018

Broadening Computer Science Participation in MA

I recently attended the 2018 ECEP Alliance (Expanding Computing Education Pathways) Annual Meeting representing business as a member of the Massachusetts team along with representatives from K-12 and higher education. This year’s meeting took place in Atlanta, Georgia where teams from 17 states and Puerto Rico discussed strategies that will […]
December 20, 2017

MBAE Urges State to Take Action on Computer Science

Technology jobs are no longer relegated to the high tech industry.  Jobs requiring computer science skills can be found across many industries including retail, healthcare and finance.  Studies by Burning Glass Technologies on the digital skills employers demand for workers have found that in the middle-skill job market a job […]
November 20, 2017

MBAE’s Take on Transition in Lawrence; New MCAS Results

In this issue: MBAE’s Take on the Transition in Lawrence | MCAS Scores May Signify We’re on the Right Track | Members in Action: IBM’s Free Math Tool for Teachers | In the News A new analysis from the D.C.-based Alliance for Excellent Education demonstrates in a compelling infographic that […]
October 18, 2017

Low MCAS Scores Signal We May Finally Be Measuring the Right Things

The 2017 MCAS scores have been released and headlines are blaring that the scores have gone down.  This is actually good news! Massachusetts finally retired the old MCAS test that was designed in the 1990’s to measure basic proficiency, ensuring that all students were educated to the same minimum level.  […]
October 11, 2017

Prep Students for Success; MBAE Adds Board Members

In this issue: Preparing Students for Success | Business Groups Oppose Testing Moratorium, Rollback of Education Reforms | MBAE Elects Four New Board Members | In the News In meetings and at forums over the past several months, the consistent message we hear from employers is we can and must […]
October 11, 2017

MBAE Elects 4 New Board Members

MBAE is pleased to announce the election of four new, exceptional leaders to our Board of Directors. We welcome  Rebecca Frisch, Vice President, Government Relations and Co-Chair TD Bank’s Southern New England Diversity Council, Jacqui Lipson, Vice President, PreK-12 Education at Widmeyer Communications, Syed Quadri, Senior ASIC design verification engineer […]
September 12, 2017

Biz groups unite to oppose rollback of ed reforms

MBAE and its 22 Business Affiliates, along with Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable issued a statement today opposing bills that would place a three-year moratorium on statewide standardized testing and gut the state’s education accountability system. At an Education Committee Hearing on […]
September 5, 2017

MBAE Calls for More Autonomy for School Leaders to Innovate

Any successful organization –whether a business or a school – needs the authority and flexibility to adapt and respond to the demands of a changing environment.  It is an essential tool in a business owner’s box, and there is ample evidence that schools thrive when they have the same ability […]
September 5, 2017

MBAE Position on Legislation That Would Establish Innovation Partnership Zones

September 5, 2017 – The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) supports giving school leaders, particularly in low-income and struggling districts, the authority and flexibility they need to innovate and decide how to meet the needs and aspirations of their students on a daily basis.   Evidence shows that schools that […]
August 28, 2017

MBAE Celebrates Mitchell Chester’s Life

I was honored to be invited to share some memories of the late Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester at a celebration of his life on August 28th at Harvard’s Memorial Church.  He was a dedicated educator and a friend to MBAE and the business community.  Since I […]
July 28, 2017

Computer Science, School Finance and Summer Reading

In this issue: Prevalence of Tech Jobs in MA Requires K-12 Adjustments | School Finance Topic of Joint Committee on Education Hearing | Summer Reading Congratulations to the Boston Public Schools and Boston Afterschool and Beyond for being selected to receive a four-year grant that will enable them to provide social […]
July 25, 2017

Any Increase to State Education Funding Should Be Tied to Reforms

Proposals to dramatically increase state spending on education come amid significant fiscal challenges facing the state, including $431 million less than expected in tax revenues for the last fiscal year.  We agree education, the foundation of a highly skilled workforce and engaged citizenry, must be a funding priority, but we […]
July 25, 2017

MBAE Position on Proposed Increases in State Education Funding

July 25, 2017 – The legislature is considering bills that would dramatically increase state funding for K-12 schools.  Yet, our problem is not just how much money is allocated, but also how money is spent.  Our current school funding system is out-of-date and undeniably contributes to our failure to prepare […]
July 12, 2017

Job Opportunities Grow, Schools Must Respond

In Massachusetts, most new jobs between 2010 and 2020 will require more than a high school diploma.  High school graduates should be well-prepared to pursue opportunities in our fastest growing fields. A Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation job trends report released in June finds that the industry will need to fill […]
October 27, 2016

“Why Massachusetts schools beat Rhode Island”

This article from the Providence Journal, comparing the differences between Massachusetts’s and Rhode Island’s education reforms, makes reference to the early work of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education under Jack Rennie’s vision and leadership. It also states that “test scores are stagnant and big gaps remain in student achievement,” […]
October 5, 2016

Education Issues on Our Radar

In this issue:  MA ESSA Implementation Provides Critical Opportunity | State Revising Academic Standards and Creating MCAS 2.0 | Evaluations Key to Ensuring Effective Teaching | News Worth Highlighting While electoral politics dominate the public conversation, MBAE is focused on a few education initiatives currently underway that will have important […]
June 7, 2016

“Test data should be used in teacher evaluations”

Editorials from The Boston Globe and Boston Herald support using student achievement data in teacher evaluations. The editorials come in the wake of a Massachusetts Senate budget amendment that would “eliminate a state regulation instructing school districts to use student performance data, such as improvement in MCAS test scores, when […]
February 24, 2016

Workforce Challenges

In this issue:  Public Comment on Draft Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards | MCAS 2.0 – Stakeholder Input | Financial Literacy Summit A recent Boston Globe story underscores the critical need for reinvention of our K-12 education system. Baby boomer retirements may slow Mass. economic growth reports that “By […]
February 19, 2016

“Students who pass state graduation tests still unprepared for college”

  This story, produced by The Hechinger Report and featured on PBS NewsHour, examines “…a perplexing situation that contributes to the rising cost and low success rate of higher education nationwide: Students pass state tests that say they’re good enough to graduate from high school but colleges consider them unprepared […]
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 13, 2015

“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 […]
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 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

“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.
July 13, 2015

Columnist Rick Holmes: “PARCC is the readiness test”

Columnist Rick Holmes explores the PARCC debate and concludes: A lot of states are dropping Common Core and PARCC, mostly because of politics and embarrassment over failing scores. Massachusetts has always been an education leader, so it need not follow the others. Instead, it should find a way to ace […]