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Massachusetts Should Disclose More Information about Its Recent Reduction in the Official Count of Long-term Care Deaths

The public — particularly in Massachusetts, where COVID-19’s toll on elders has been so great — has a right to know how many deaths occurred in state-regulated eldercare facilities, and how that compares to the total number of deaths. But the state’s new counting standard clouds this information, and should be corrected or at least disclosed.

Accountability in Massachusetts’ Remote Learning Regulations

This policy brief and public comment argues that the COVID-19 pandemic-related revisions to Massachusetts’ remote learning regulations should restore state and local accountability by specifying that any remote academic work shall, to the same extent as in-person education, prepare students to take MCAS tests, and that grading criteria should be the same across in-person, remote, and hybrid learning environments.

Class Dismissed: Massachusetts’ Lack of Preparedness for K–12 Digital Learning During COVID-19

This white paper contends that the shutdown of Massachusetts schools due to the COVID-19 virus and the shift to online education have exposed the uneven nature of digital learning in the Commonwealth, and calls for state officials to develop programs to create more consistency. The study urges state officials to create a plan for the 2020-21 school year that will address the education gaps that occurred during the final semester of this school year. It also encourages a plan to address how future extended closures would be managed.

Keeping Students Academically Engaged During the Coronavirus Crisis – Part One

Pioneer Institute calls on the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to quickly establish comprehensive but concise guidelines for federal law around school closures.  Because of the COVID-19 virus, schools have been closing rapidly around the nation, and they are trying to transition to alternative, largely online, learning programs. 

The Merit Rating Board: Review and Recommendations

Significant administrative failings involving the Registry of Motor Vehicles have drawn attention to an entity called the Merit Rating Board (MRB or the Board). MRB’s administrative personnel and processes have been the subject of sharp criticism, and also extensive ongoing reform efforts. This policy brief reviews the relevant circumstances, and makes recommendations for consideration by MRB and other government personnel as they move forward.