By Jamie Gass and Will Fitzhugh “Students of reading, writing, and common arithmetick . . . Graecian, Roman, English, and American history . . .,” Thomas Jefferson advised about democratic education, “should be able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens.” Friday marks the 275th anniversary of Jefferson’s […]
About Jamie Gass
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Entries by Jamie Gass
This op-ed appeared in The Springfield Republican, The Berkshire Eagle and The Daily Caller. BOSTON — “[N]othing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose,” wrote Mary Shelley, author of the classic horror story ‘Frankenstein’. “[A] point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” The novel’s 200th anniversary this year is a fitting […]
This op-ed appeared in The Daily Caller. By Jamie Gass and Ze’ev Wurman “The massive bulk of the earth does indeed shrink to insignificance,” pronounced Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, “in comparison with the size of the heavens.” February 19th is the 545th anniversary of Copernicus’s birth. His 1543 book, On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, reversed humanity’s millennia-old […]
This op-ed appeared in the Boston Herald on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. The history of education reform in Massachusetts over the past quarter century could be a case study in playing the long game. A 1993 law provided a massive increase in state funding in return for high standards, accountability and more choice. Teachers unions, […]
This op-ed has appeared in WGBH News and The Berkshire Eagle. October 6 would be the 100th birthday of Fannie Lou Hamer, the black civil rights activist and vice-chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). She made history during Freedom Summer 1964, storming the Magnolia State’s all-white delegation at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Atlantic City. “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Hamer would later famously […]
Read this op-ed in The New Bedford Standard Times, The Lowell Sun, The Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, The Springfield Republican, The MetroWest Daily News, The Providence Journal, The Salem News. The Scituate Mariner, and the NH Union Leader. “[T]he Government of the United States … gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” President George Washington wrote […]
Read this op-ed in the Salem News, The Lowell Sun, The Patriot Ledger, Brockton Enterprise, The Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, The New Bedford Standard Times, The Springfield Republican, The Berkshire Eagle, and The Federalist. “[M]y task is to paint the whole earth, the entire world, in novel form, by imagining adventures…” wrote the renowned, late-19th-century French novelist, […]
“How I could wish that you had invited me to that most glorious banquet on the Ides of March!” the heroic Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote to one of the Roman senators who stabbed perpetual dictator Julius Caesar to death more than two millennia ago. The Ides of March on March 15, 44 B.C., is among the […]
Read this op-ed in The New Bedford Standard Times, The Lowell Sun, The Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, The Springfield Republican, The Berkshire Eagle, The MetroWest Daily News, and The Federalist. “In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky … and star-crowned mountains,” wrote African-American statesman and former slave Frederick Douglass. “But […]
Our schoolchildren need to learn Elie Wiesel’s wisdom, and the tragic events of the Holocaust, but they largely don’t. Wiesel’s book Night is not an “exemplar text” in the nationalized K-12 standards, Common Core… Despite the post-World War II pleas to “never forget,” we are forgetting, and so are our children.
This op-ed appeared in The Daily Caller and The New Bedford Standard-Times on October 27, 2016. by Jamie Gass “It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery,” British dramatist John Gay wrote about Jonathan Swift’s 1726 satirical masterpiece, Gulliver’s Travels. October marks the 290th anniversary of Lemuel Gulliver’s towering stride onto the world’s literary […]
Originally posted beginning on Apr. 23, 2016 in The MetroWest Daily News, The Milford Daily News, The Brockton Enterprise, and on Diane Ravitch’s Blog. “[T]he best words in the best order,” is how Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who authored the lyric sea ballad The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), defined poetry. April is National Poetry […]
it’s time for Massachusetts to stop playing political games with the charter authorization process.
We should expel the Know-Nothings’ anti-Irish-Catholic amendment from the Massachusetts constitution, and remove bigoted Governor Gardner’s portrait from a position of prominence in our Statehouse.
Public school children are unlikely to read “The Last of the Mohicans,” a masterpiece of American literature, thanks to Common Core’s emphasis on “informational texts.”
(Note: This op-ed originally appeared on the anniversary of the Challenger disaster, in the news outlets linked at the bottom of this post. Post originally posted on Jan. 28, 2015.) BOSTON — Today marks the anniversary of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy. “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, […]
This op-ed has appeared in The MetroWest Daily News, The Taunton Daily Gazette, The New Bedford Standard Times, the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, the Springfield Republican, and The Lowell Sun. Read an excerpt below. “There’s no ‘glory’ in killing. There’s no ‘glory’ in maiming men,” said American six-star General John “Black Jack” Pershing, upon his 1924 […]
This week marks the 60th anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year old black boy from Chicago who was killed by two white Mississippians for whistling in the presence of a white woman. “The news of Emmett’s death caused many people to participate in the cry for justice and equal rights, including myself,” […]
This past week, at the urging of state K-12 education commissioner Mitch Chester, Deval Patrick’s Massachusetts Board of Education took a vote against Massachusetts’ nation-leading and achievement gap-closing charter schools. The vote reminds us once again how intellectually warped so much of K-12 education policymaking remains. The biggest victims of this BOE vote are the […]
Who says that Common Core ELA cuts classic literature, poetry, and drama? Our good friends at the Fordham Institute (see Checker & Co. as Gates Foundation vendor) must wake up early to start writing their dramatic “exemplar” texts and examples for America’s kids and policymakers. But here’s a dramatic exemplar of Common Core’s Surrealist art imitating life: […]
More than once, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has described himself as a frustrated architect. But nothing highlights our governor’s questionable architectural chops like his unwise decision to dismantle the nationally-recognized K-12 academic standards that were central to Massachusetts’ landmark 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act and replace them with weaker national English and math standards known […]
Commentary magazine did a great blog about how Common Core is really ObamaCore and how right-leaners and left-leaners alike across the country are now in open rebellion over the growing federal takeover of K-12 education standards, testing, and curriculum. See below: Wherever you stand on the Common Core, an attempt to provide a set of […]
Guest View: Southern literature never ceases to inspire This op-ed originally appeared in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and The New Bedford Standard Times. By Jamie Gass Jamie Gass directs the Center for School Reform at Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based think tank. August 09, 2013 12:00 AM “He is immortal, not because he alone among […]
This op-ed originally appeared in The Lowell Sun, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, and the New Bedford Standard Times. By Jamie Gass Jamie Gass directs the Center for School Reform at Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based think tank. July 04, 2013 7:20 AM After witnessing the speech “Against the Writs of Assistance,” Massachusetts […]
For many, Memorial Day is regarded as the official kick-off of summer – in Massachusetts, the start of the season of backyard barbecues, beaches, and boating. But in communities all across America – small towns and large – we’ll also see lively parades with marching bands, and breathtaking images of veterans’ memorials and cemeteries adorned […]
As opposition to Common Core national education standards picks up steam across the country, with more grassroots activism and movement among state and national political leaders, we’ll do our best to bring you the latest news on this front. See today’s round-up below: DAILY CALLER: Common Core a common enemy for some conservatives, liberals HERITAGE: […]
To ensure that knowledge of events like the War of 1812 would be passed on to successive generations, we must make passage of a basic U.S. history MCAS test a high school graduation requirement.
According to Pioneer Institute research, Shakespeare is one of the very few British writers named in the nationalized English standards adopted by the commonwealth and 45 other states. So, watching “A Christmas Carol” on television may be kids’ only exposure to the magic of Dickens’ characters.
Understanding the complexity our country’s Native American past requires knowing U.S. history. Preferring softer 21st century skills like “media awareness” and “systems thinking” to academics, the Patrick administration in 2009 postponed a requirement, starting with the class of 2012, that Massachusetts public school students pass a U.S. history MCAS test to graduate from high school.
BOSTON — The campaign between U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and challenger Elizabeth Warren was probably the most closely watched U.S. Senate race in the country and inspired passion and participation among voters across Massachusetts. But far too many of the commonwealth’s students don’t understand what the U.S. Senate is or why this race was so […]