When you ask that question, the usual answer is something about the kids, equity, and the unfairness of all the flexibility that charters get. It’s hard to get a superintendent to go beyond the platitudes. Perhaps the superintendent will raise all the good work that’s going on in the district. There may in fact be […]
About Jim Stergios
Jim Stergios is Executive Director of Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based think tank founded in 1988. Prior to joining Pioneer, Jim was Chief of Staff and Undersecretary for Policy in the Commonwealth's Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where he drove efforts on water policy, regulatory and permit reform, and urban revitalization. His prior experience includes founding and managing a business, teaching at the university
level, and serving as headmaster at a preparatory school. He holds a doctoral degree in Political Science from Boston University. Jim has been interviewed on the BBC and MSNBC, and has appeared regularly on local television and radio news broadcasts, including Chronicle, WBZ, WHDH, WCVB, NECN, Fox 25, WGBH TV and radio, WBUR’s Radio Boston, WBZ’s Nightside with Dan Rea, WRKO’s Tom & Todd Show and Pundit Review. In addition to writing regular commentary as Boston.com’s education blogger, Jim’s opinion pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, and regional newspapers throughout New England. He has been quoted in hundreds of news outlets across the country, including in The New York Times, The Economist, and The Washington Post, and speaks at national policy conferences.
Entries by Jim Stergios
We often hear that kids are stressed by school — and most times MCAS testing is considered the culprit. Let’s look at the broad picture first. Indiana University’s High School Survey of Student Engagement suggests the following about US District High School students: 82.7% spend no more than 5 hours a week on homework. 42.5% […]
The governor’s Colombia trip is over and here is what your money paid for. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Colombia comes with a translation into Spanish. That’s the good news. The rest of the story kind of goes as follows: They probably didn’t spend much time on it given the […]
Tomorrow’s Board of Education meeting expects a crowd. Applicants for five new charter schools and 11 expansions will be on hand, as will detractors. There will be those on hand who pursued and opposed new charters that were denied the commissioner’s recommendation and therefore will not be brought to a Board vote. Push into that […]
For the past decade and a half, February has served as the month during which the state’s Board of Education votes on proposed charter schools. The process is a long one, involving during the previous year the submission of concepts, detailed applications, revised applications, interviews with proponents and evaluations by the Charter School Office, which […]
The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s vote later this month on a new set of charter school proposals is an opportunity to give thousands of Massachusetts kids access to a great school. The list of proposed charters includes new proposals for Boston, such as City on a Hill Charter Public School, which is […]
The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s vote later this month on a new set of charter school proposals is an opportunity to give thousands of Massachusetts kids access to a great school. The list of proposed charters includes the following schools in cities outside of Greater Boston: Argosy Collegiate Charter School in Fall […]
Back in April 2011, the Globe editorial page touted “Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester’s proposed regulations linking teacher evaluations to student performance” as “a long-awaited step toward rewarding effective teachers and unmasking incompetent ones.” Many have seen the new evaluation system as a huge step forward, but I’ve always been highly skeptical that it will do […]
A good debate with Northeastern University’s Peter Enrich on RadioBoston today. More to come in several op-eds, blogs and Pioneer’s annual The Good, The Bad and the Ugly series.
Jim Braude referees, as I duke it out with Stephanie Pollack on the Governor’s transportation proposal. You can read more here for more of Pioneer’s position on the topic.
On January 6th the Boston Globe published a thoughtful opinion piece on the cost of dropouts by Alan Leventhal, who in his day job serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Beacon Capital Partners. It opened with a good overview of the challenge in the country: EQUAL OPPORTUNITY for education has been a social […]
We need new revenue to maintain Massachusetts’ crumbling transportation system. But Gov. Deval Patrick’s new blueprint gives the same old interest groups the tools to repeat the mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place.
With its high cost and perverse incentives, Massachusetts’ unemployment insurance system is a job-killing machine. The reforms proposed by Governor Patrick are important steps in the right direction, but far more must be done to tame this beast.
Rich Davey’s attempt at recreating the magic of Steve Jobs missed the mark in presenting the policy reasons for lots more transportation spending. At the release of the new transportation plan, his Jobs-like headset masked just how over-miked and overstated were the opportunities within our reach if we just put more fuel in the transportation […]
Last year saw a lot of movement within the legislature on the bottle bill, but ultimately no action. The bottle bill seeks to expand the types of beverage containers that require a 5-cent deposit to include water and juice bottles. In theory it sounds really good. Create an incentive for individuals and businesses to redeem […]
Back in January 2010, there was a lot of hope that the charter school expansions associated with the new law would work out well. The data on that is largely tremendous. The new charters are faring very well, thank you. There were other elements in the law including the creation of statewide “virtual schools,” schools […]
In 2009, Pres. Obama effectively used the “bully pulpit” to expand charter schools, changes that were adopted by state legislatures around the country. During the next three years, the administration opted for a “top down” approach, with Race to the Top pushing state compliance with federally defined state reforms. These included not yet field tested […]
More than 100,000 students in 10 states – including Rhode Island and New Hampshire – are currently educated under tax credit programs. Massachusetts has so many exceptional private and parochial education options, and our school children deserve the same options. Jewish Day Schools, for example, are facing a perfect storm of rising costs and declining philanthropic support.
What state policymakers can do to help build our green energy sector.
Reformers in other states, even ones with a sharp eye on keeping costs down, would do well to look at Massachusetts as much and, frankly, even more than Florida.
In what you might call a “count your chickens before they hatch” moment, even as late as the morning of Super Tuesday (November 6, 2012, 7:16:15AM EST) Virginia Edwards of EdWeek’s “Leadership Forum” sent an email invitation entitled “Save the Date: Road Maps to Common Core Success in March 2013.” I invite you to attend […]
You can summarize the fallout of the elections on schools in three simple outcomes: No change in federal policy, two big state charter expansions got passed–and through ballot initiatives (!), and in a blow to supporters of national standards and tests the state superintendent of schools in Indiana got shown the door. In more detail, […]
Basketball fans will remember the scene from the epic 1986 Gene Hackman movie, Hoosiers , where Coach Norman Dale (Hackman) is taking his small-town high school team, Hickory, on the road to the Indiana state championships. As they peer into their opponent’s massive gymnasium, his players grow understandably nervous. Taking out a measuring tape, Coach […]
We are in the middle of a U.S. Senate campaign and, while passions may run high on both sides of the partisan divide, what is a young Massachusetts student to think of the race? Given his or her ignorance of the role of a senator, whether in Massachusetts state government or at the federal level, […]
The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education should put politics aside and support a new SABIS-run Brockton charter school.
Jim Stergios The Eagle-Tribune The usual rules apply when things work, or at least aren’t disastrously broken. That’s not the case when 15 years of failing schools have culminated in every other student dropping out. Yet this is precisely what is happening in Lawrence, and the city and state have simply pretended that the adverse […]
Twain famously noted that the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug. Getting words right is arguable the key task in educating an individual, for precise use of language is critical to developing the ability to observe and to think. Then there is the […]
Here is the Democratic National Platform on K-12 education, taken from the national Democrats.org site: An Economy that Out-Educates the World and Offers Greater Access to Higher Education and Technical Training. Democrats believe that getting an education is the surest path to the middle class, giving all students the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and […]
Here is the Republican platform on K-12 education, taken from the National GOP web portal: Education: A Chance for Every Child Parents are responsible for the education of their children. We do not believe in a one size fits all approach to education and support providing broad education choices to parents and children at the […]
There are many lessons to learn from this year’s two major party conventions, many of which extend beyond education—the focus of this blog. The “scriptedness” of the events was only outshone by the color coordination of the sets and clothing. Viewers and attendees came away feeling like the proverbial man behind the curtain (as in […]