Massachusetts

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Massachusetts

Learning from Real Educational Reform

A while ago, I listed what I thought made Massachusetts’ educational system work: The recent educational regression reform plan in Massachusetts and the Obama Administration’s educational proposals both seem to misunderstand what has made Massachusetts’ educational system one of the best in the world (and that does far better than would be expected by demography):…

Why Does The Boston Phoenix Despise Teachers?

One of the subtle, but important things that influences national discussions of education is that the Washington D.C. public schools are dreadful. Not only do students do worse than would be predicted based on the poverty rate, but, according to the NAEP, the schools also do a worse job of educating poor students. Due to…

Yesterday, I described the relationship between low-income and poor performance in English and math in Massachusetts (see the post for methodological details). Well, I’ve saved the worst for last–science education: Just to remind everyone, the horizontal axis is the percentage of children in a school who qualify for free lunch, and the vertical axis is…

Poverty and Learning in Massachusetts

I’ve described before how there is a significant correlation between poverty and educational performance when we use state-level data. But as I pointed out, one of the interesting things is that the residual–the difference between the expected scores for a given state and the actual scores–can be quite large for some states (e.g., Massachusetts does…

Last week, we looked at how the Obama Administration’s “Race to the Top” education ‘reform’ legislation screwed over Massachusetts because MA had the silly idea that changing the curriculum (dumbing it down, actually) of one of the most successful educational systems in the world should be presented to the citizens of the Commonwealth. Silly Mad…

It’s supposed to be rainy, so why not attend? Carl Zimmer will be there. MAS does really cool outreachy things like teacher training so they’re worth supporting, even if you can’t attend. Anyway, this found its way into my email machine: Join the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences as we spend a day at the Museum…

I’m skeptical. Floyd Norris, who usually is smart enough not to join the ‘Pain Caucus’, claims it is in The NY Times: The federal government is now starting to build the institutions that will try to reduce the soaring growth of health care costs. There will be a group to compare the effectiveness of different…

Since the Congress passed Romneycare, it’s worth looking at the major driver in Massachusetts of medical inflation–price gouging by hospitals and physicians groups that are able to set prices due to de facto monopoly power. From the MA Attorney General’s office (italics mine; underscore original): In a presentation at the hearing, Attorney General Coakley, with…

Education and Not Racing to the Bottom

Universal Hub linked to my post about the non-existent educational crisis in Massachusetts. In the comments was this really good point about not racing to the bottom (italics mine): While I am a frequent critic of the Boston schools and government waste, on the whole Mass is fantastic thanks to the rigorous standards we impose…

It’s bad enough that the Texas Board of Education, through its new ‘standards’, will result in the mass mental disability of millions of American students. But the new federal standards could potential harm Massachusetts’ educational system–and if it’s working well (and it is)–then don’t fix it. With friends like Arne Duncan and the Obama Administration,…