A truly progressive student loan policy

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This op-ed originally appeared in the Boston Globe. It was written…

Rigorous Civics Education Needed Now More Than Ever

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After decades of being overlooked, the importance of teaching US history and civics in public schools is at last gaining momentum. At the same time, the American Rescue Plan will bring an influx of tens of millions of dollars into Massachusetts schools. The confluence of these two events could transform civics education, but turning potential into reality will require combining a high-quality, fact-based curriculum with strong accountability measures.

Charter schools leading the way with in-person instruction

Massachusetts charter public schools have lived up to their decades-long record of excellence during the pandemic, developing innovative ways to continue providing high-quality education by maximizing the number of students who can safely learn in person.

Tax credit scholarship program would give Catholic schools fighting chance

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I am among the countless individuals whose lives have been shaped by Catholic education; in my case, it was attending high school at Austin Prep. Despite a stellar record, Catholic schools are facing a grim financial picture. But a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision gives new hope to the schools and to the many Massachusetts families with children who would benefit from attending them.

Tax Credits, Religious Schools And You

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Six years ago, I met with Erica Smith of the Institute for Justice in a Montana coffee shop, where I agreed to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit about the use of funds from a state education tax credit program for children attending religious schools. This past June, in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Montana’s highest court and ruled that if parents use funds from the program to access private education, religious school options cannot be excluded.

Voc-tech schools thriving despite pandemic strictures

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HANDS-ON EDUCATION plays a critical role at Massachusetts regional vocational-technical high schools, where students alternate weekly between academics and shop classes. Given that reality, you’d think the schools would be particularly hard hit by the switch to hybrid models under which students are in a physical school building only half the time. But thanks to innovative approaches to coping with pandemic-related restrictions, voc-techs are successfully bucking statewide public-school enrollment trends.

Education tax credits don’t cost taxpayers a cent

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This op-ed has appeared in WGBH News, The Providence Journal,…

MCAS testing essential to address falling test scores

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Amid the chaos that was created by schools suddenly being shuttered in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it made sense to cancel administration of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests. But supporters of pending legislation that would place a four-year moratorium on using MCAS as a high school graduation requirement and create a commission to study alternatives to the tests are no longer responding to a crisis; they are using it to advance their anti-reform agenda.

When ignorance and violence are permitted to trump justice

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This week marks the 65th 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.

Should the federal government provide free, universal child care?

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Free, universal child care provided by the federal government would be contrary to the spirit of the Founders’ view of K-12 education as the constitutional domain of state and local governments.

Education tax credit programs extend choice to families who can’t afford private schools or to move to a tony community

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Thanks to the Supreme Court’s Espinoza ruling, many more students can reap the benefits of school choice

The Virtual Lessons Catholic Schools Can Teach

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This op-ed originally appeared in The Boston Pilot. By Tom…

Easthampton High Scores A National Educational Victory During The COVID-19 Pandemic

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This spring, Massachusetts’ Easthampton High School was crowned national champion in the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” contest. The competition brings together about 1,200 students from across the country to answer civics questions based on America’s Founding Documents including the U.S. Constitution; The Federalist Papers; and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Mass. schools must recommit to knowledge-based curriculum

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The Bay State’s leadership role has continued into the current century. Massachusetts made tremendous strides in the years following passage of a landmark 1993 education reform law. But it has been backsliding since 2010, when it adopted weaker English and math standards known as Common Core. To get back on track, Massachusetts must reform its school- and district-level curriculum to emphasize imparting a shared body of background knowledge and social commitment to students in all ZIP codes.

Students still need to learn during the coronavirus pandemic

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This op-ed appeared in The Boston Globe on March 31, 2020. State…

Don’t mess with success of voc-tech high schools

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For more than 25 years, Massachusetts vocational-technical high schools have done everything state officials have asked of them. Instead of moving the goal posts by compelling them to switch to a lottery system, we should expand the schools. 

A Well-Deserved Glimmer of Hope for Massachusetts Catholic Schools

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Enrollment in Archdiocese of Boston schools has increased by about 4,000 students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Combine that with a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court case that makes it easier to support the schools and it adds up to a well-deserved glimmer of hope for Catholic schools that have fallen on hard times despite their outstanding performance.

When The Commonwealth Pays The Education Bill, It Should Get A School Committee Say

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Local education officials were up in arms earlier this year when Pioneer Institute proposed giving the Commonwealth the power to appoint some school committee seats in urban districts that are mostly state-funded. It would be hard to imagine a better example of why we need to adopt that reform than the current mess in Fall River.

Education business ruled by teachers’ unions truly terrifying

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This op-ed originally appeared in The Worcester Telegram &…

Dimming the state’s literary light

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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.

Tackling equity at Boston’s exam schools

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By Jim Stergios August 2, 2019 This spring, The New York Times…

Melville readies students for rough seas ahead

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Read this op-ed in The Berkshire Eagle, The Salem News, and The…

The Supreme Court Is Set To Decide Whether Religious Kids Are Allowed A Good Education

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Thanks to Kendra Espinoza, a determined Montana mom, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up and hopefully strike down the infamous legacy of state Know-Nothing and Blaine amendments. From Massachusetts to Michigan and across the nation, this case has the potential to overturn a century and a half of state constitutional discrimination against religious families and their quest for the most suitable and effective education for their children.

Boston companies can partner with public universities to create fintech skills pipeline

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Read this op-ed in the Boston Business Journal. Financial…

Denying students the opportunity to study classic works of literature leads to a culture of mediocrity

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This op-ed appeared in The Springfield Republican and The Lowell…

To Keep Our Republic, American Students Must Study The French Revolution

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By Jamie Gass and Will Fitzhugh This op-ed appeared in The…

How Massachusetts Showed the Way on Education Reform

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By Jamie Gass & Charles Chieppo Read this op-ed in The…

Guglielmo Marconi and the importance of innovation and choice in education

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By Jamie Gass and Ze'ev Wurman May 1, 2019 This op-ed appeared…