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Massachusetts education officials considering at-home MCAS testing in the spring during COVID pandemic

With the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System scheduled to be administered this winter and spring during the coronavirus pandemic, one teacher said it will be a “logistical nightmare” for districts that have been fully remote to administer the test.

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But Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley on Tuesday said the tests are still on track to be administered, but that the department is considering options like limiting the amount of time for which students take the test or at-home testing this spring.

MCAS tests in January and February are coming up for students, including those who need to re-test to graduate and English language learners.

“When we think about the winter testing, as we’ve seen over the last few weeks, we acknowledge the number of students schools and districts affected by COVID has increased,” Riley said during a Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

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Was Massachusetts right to adopt new rules limiting financial incentives for solar projects on sensitive lands?

Heidi Ricci
Heidi Ricci

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources recently revised its financial incentives for solar arrays to reduce the loss of forests, rare species habitats, and other sensitive lands. The incentives, with some exceptions, will no longer be provided for large projects built in those areas. This was a smart decision, and more still needs to be done.

Solar power must be rapidly accelerated. We are running out of time to transition to clean, renewable energy and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Rising seas, increased temperatures, more frequent droughts, and storms of greater intensity are already impacting people and nature in Massachusetts and globally.

Yet our natural land is also critical to fighting climate change, providing valuable services including carbon storage, water supplies, locally-produced food, shade, and habitat for fish and other wildlife. The beauty of nature and opportunities for outdoor recreation are essential to our health and

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Massachusetts is the Best State for Technology and Science, says Milken Institute

New index uses 105 metrics to determine state knowledge economies

Massachusetts ranks No. 1 in the 2020 Milken Institute State Technology and Science Index. The biennial assessment uses 105 metrics to determine each state’s science and technology capabilities relative to opportunities for job growth and wealth creation.

Colorado follows at No. 2, and California comes in at No. 3, moving up one spot compared to the Institute’s last ranking. The 2020 edition groups states into five tiers, with Maryland, Washington, and Utah rounding out the first tier, respectively.

For nearly two decades, the Milken Institute State Technology and Science Index has offered state governments and business leaders a vital template for evaluating their economic growth efforts over the long-term. This year, the index provides additional insight into challenges states are facing and which states are best equipped for an economic recovery post-pandemic.

“The pandemic has demonstrated both the strengths and

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Massachusetts Keeps Top Spot in Milken State Technology and Science Index | Best States

Nearly every industry has felt an economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed holes in the framework of business models throughout the country. But some business sectors, such as the tech industry, are pivoting with new opportunities, offering a path forward for states beyond California’s Silicon Valley.

Massachusetts, Colorado and California have the greatest science and technology capabilities, according to the State Technology and Science Index. The biennial report from the Milken Institute, a Santa Monica, California-based think tank, compares states along their “capacity for achieving prosperity through scientific discovery and technological innovation.”

For almost two decades, researchers have explored the elements of development in the technology and science sector, identifying why some states are more effective than others when it comes to job creation and wage growth in high-tech industries. But this year, the report takes on new meaning amid the pandemic and a reeling economy, as states

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Massachusetts school districts should prioritize in-person learning unless there is school transmission of COVID, education officials say

Education officials on Friday said that Massachusetts school districts should prioritize in-person learning despite a community’s coronavirus transmission risk level as long as there is no suspected in-school transmission of the virus.

“As always, districts and schools must strictly adhere to all health and safety protocols outlined in DESE’s guidance including, social distancing in classrooms of at least 3 feet,” said Secretary of Education James Peyser.

Peyser touted information cited by Gov. Charlie Baker, including a recent study from Brown University that indicated nationwide spread of coronavirus has been low in schools. Baker also noted that more than 28,000 students have been learning in 84 Catholic schools in person since August, with those schools reporting a low number of coronavirus cases despite being located in cities that have some of the highest coronavirus transmission rates.

Earlier Friday, DPH announced the state is changing the way it classifies community risk

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Education commissioner reverses course, says Massachusetts schools in red should stay open

Massachusetts school districts in the red zone should continue to offer in-person instruction so long as there is no coronavirus transmission in the buildings, said Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley, reversing course on the state’s previous guidance.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Boston, MA 6/25/2020 Commissioner Jeffrey Riley (cq), with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, speaks. Governor Charlie Baker (cq) holds a press availability in the Gardner Auditorium, of the State House, during the coronavirus pandemic. Plans for school reopening are disclosed. POOL (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff) POOL PHOTO


© Provided by Boston Herald
Boston, MA 6/25/2020 Commissioner Jeffrey Riley (cq), with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, speaks. Governor Charlie Baker (cq) holds a press availability in the Gardner Auditorium, of the State House, during the coronavirus pandemic. Plans for school reopening are disclosed. POOL (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff) POOL PHOTO

Riley said during a Tuesday Joint Committee on Education hearing that schools “are encouraged to remain open even if their community is red.”

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He said such districts offering in-person or hybrid learning models should continue to remain open “until there is any evidence that there is transmission happening in a school.”

This backtracks on a previous Department of Elementary

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On Recruiting Trail, Boston College Continues to Clean Up in Massachusetts

Yesterday, it was another Bay State recruiting win for Boston College as local wide receiver Ismael Zamor pledged to the Eagles. The Everett HS product is one of growing number of examples of Jeff Hafley and his staff setting a new foundation to dominate recruiting in Massachusetts. 

In year’s past, BC has been active locally. But the story was always the same. If the recruit was big enough to go nationally, the Eagles would more often than not lose that recruit to those powerhouse schools. This situation got worse when former defensive coordinator Don Brown left to go to Michigan. The Wolverines basically got first dibs on anyone in the area, and took players like Zak Zinter, Kalel Mullings and Mike Sainristill to the Big House. Even Michigan recruiting analysts bragged that the Wolverines owned Massachusetts. And it was hard to argue with that, Brown dominated the area. 

But

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