Academic Standards

This week on "The Learning Curve," Professor E.D. Hirsch, Jr., founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation, professor emeritus at UVA, and acclaimed author, discusses a critical ingredient of academic achievement, the shared background knowledge needed for language proficiency and cultural literacy.
September marks Johnson’s 310th birthday. His A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) used 114,000 timeless quotations to help define 42,000 words, making it among the most famous dictionaries in human history.
Narrowing funding gap between high-income and less affluent districts should be focus of school funding formula update Contact Jamie Gass at jgass@pioneerinstitute.org Read coverage of this report in The Boston Globe and the Springfield Republican. BOSTON – Efforts to update the Commonwealth’s K-12 education funding formula should focus on narrowing the gap between affluent and...
Little research evidence for, or objective, reliable way to measure SEL’s efficacy; raises significant concerns about student health and privacy BOSTON - Social-emotional learning (SEL) has been billed as a transformational tool that will propel students to greater academic achievement and personal fulfillment.  Unfortunately, as a new Pioneer Institute study makes clear, the research evidence...
Contact Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinstitute.org Overall 4th-grade reading and 8th-grade math scores flat, but percentage scoring in top category continues to rise BOSTON - A review of the performance of Massachusetts students on National Assessment of Academic Progress 4th-grade reading and 8th-grade math tests shows that overall improvement has stalled in the...
As a result of ignoring input from a distinguished national expert, Massachusetts’ Next Generation Science Standards adopted last spring by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) fall short.
Attacks on MCAS for not producing “college-ready” graduates demonstrates lack of understanding of test’s purpose BOSTON - Political realities dictate that, as with any tests, passing scores on those developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) will be set at a level that avoids having an unacceptable number of...
Study:  MCAS Less Expensive, More Rigorous and Provides Better Information than PARCC  Authors call for state to phase out both PARCC and Common Core BOSTON - In the wake of an apparent shift by Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester making it increasingly likely that Massachusetts will update MCAS rather than adopt English and...
Study Calls for Draft Science and Technology/Engineering Standards to Be Withdrawn “Astonishing” gaps in science content too large to be resolved editorially BOSTON - Massachusetts’ draft pre-K through introductory high school Science and Technology/Engineering standards contain such startling gaps in science that they should be withdrawn from consideration, according to a new Policy Brief published...
BOSTON - Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester, who later this year will make a recommendation to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (the board) about whether to replace MCAS tests with those developed by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), chairs PARCC’s governing board. Pioneer...