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Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2016
Recent studies continue to shine light on high-performing charter schools. While Boston-area charter schools--a concentrated group of high-performers--garner more attention than others, many excellent schools outside of Boston have been quietly chipping away at the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. One of these schools…
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Public Schools, Best Practices, School Effectiveness
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2016
The ongoing push to raise or eliminate the charter school cap in Massachusetts provides an opportunity to reflect upon the purpose of charter schools. When the legislature created the Commonwealth's charter school law, as a part of the 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA), it clearly stated a main reason for these new schools was…
Descriptors: Charter Schools, State Legislation, Educational Innovation, Teaching Methods
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2016
Holyoke Community Charter School (HCCS) provides high quality educational opportunities to students and families in a city where such opportunities are not widely available. A long waitlist, high lottery subscription, and low attrition rate are all evidence of community demand for the school. Student outcomes that surpass the district of Holyoke…
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Public Schools, Best Practices, Data Collection
Phelps, Richard P. – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2016
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has released a report, "Evaluating the Content and Quality of Next Generation Assessments," ostensibly an evaluative comparison of four testing programs, the Common Core derived SBAC and PARCC, ACT's Aspire, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' MCAS. Of course, anyone familiar with Fordham's past work…
Descriptors: Evaluation Methods, Tests, Evaluation Research, Standardized Tests
Lewis, Anders; Donovan, William – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
The idea that the purpose of education, let alone history education, is to remove a student from the here and now and to get them to understand ideas and worlds beyond their immediate interests is anathema to proponents of today's trendy reform ideas. The idea, as well, that the stories of the past are intrinsically fascinating in and of…
Descriptors: History Instruction, United States History, Civics, Faculty Development
Phelps, Richard P. – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) high school test is administered to all Bay State students--both those intending to enroll in college and the many with no such intention. The MCAS high school test is a retrospectively focused standards-based achievement test, designed to measure how well students have mastered the material…
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Educational Policy, Achievement Tests, College Readiness
McQuillan, Mark; Phelps, Richard P.; Stotsky, Sandra – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
In July 2010, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted to adopt Common Core's standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in place of the state's own standards in these two subjects. The vote was based largely on recommendations by Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester and then Secretary of…
Descriptors: Reading Tests, Writing Tests, Achievement Tests, Common Core State Standards
Stotsky, Sandra – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
In this testimony, the author first describes her qualifications, as well as the lack of relevant qualifications in Common Core's standards writers and in most of the members of Common Core's Validation Committee, on which she served in 2009-2010. The author then details some of the many problems in the 2011 Massachusetts ELA standards, written by…
Descriptors: Common Core State Standards, Standardized Tests, Language Arts, English Instruction
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
In recent years many charter public schools in Massachusetts have increased the number of English language learners (ELLs) that they enroll. A 2010 amendment to the charter school law has made it easier for charter schools to recruit English language learners. The success that many charter schools have had with this subset of students defies…
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Public Schools, Best Practices, English Language Learners
Apfelbaum, Katherine; Ardon, Ken – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
School systems around the United States are heavily segregated by income and race. At the same time, an achievement gap between white and nonwhite students persists despite many efforts to close it. Against this background, in this white paper the authors explore the history and successes of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity…
Descriptors: Achievement Gap, Educational Opportunities, School Segregation, Racial Segregation
Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
In recent decades, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has implemented reforms aimed at improving and controlling the quality of the teaching workforce in public schools. Among those reforms are tests for licensure that assess both general and content-area specific knowledge, requirements for ongoing teacher professional development, and procedures…
Descriptors: Teacher Competencies, Charter Schools, Teacher Qualifications, Teacher Certification
Ardon, Ken; Candal, Cara Stillings – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
For most families, their home address determines the school that their children will attend. While wealthier families can move to the community of their choice or choose a private school, lower-income families have fewer alternatives if they are not satisfied with their local schools. In the past two decades, many states have begun to subsidize…
Descriptors: Urban Education, School Choice, Private Schools, Educational Vouchers
Ardon, Ken; Fraser, Alison L. – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
It is clear from assessment, graduation, and follow-up data that career-vocational technical education (CVTE), as it is practiced in Massachusetts, is a success. CVTE is becoming so popular that there are up to 5,000 more applicants for places in Massachusetts' vocational technical schools than there are openings, creating waiting lists. This…
Descriptors: Access to Education, Vocational Education, Technical Education, Career Education
Metzenberg, Stan – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
Stan Metzenberg offers a critical analysis of the draft "Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards," which are for pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8 and introductory high school courses. Metzenberg claims that the document reveals significant, unacceptable gaps in science content, as well as some notable errors and…
Descriptors: Program Evaluation, State Standards, Science Education, Technology Education
Haller, Scott – Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015
A recent Pioneer Institute report written by Ken Ardon and Cara Stilling Candal, "Modeling Urban Scholarship Vouchers in Massachusetts," explores the viability of a school choice voucher program in the Commonwealth. Nationally, school choice has been shown to improve parent satisfaction and student achievement, reduce racial segregation,…
Descriptors: School Choice, Educational Vouchers, School Districts, Private Schools
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