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  • State Officials Vague on New Standardized Test

    State Officials Vague on New Standardized Test4

    Massachusetts students in Grades 3 through 8 will take a new standardized test this month, but it’s unclear how new the test really is. Dubbed “MCAS 2.0” in October 2015 by Mitchell Chester, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the new test was proposed by Chester as a compromise between

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  • Why The Best Educational Toys Are Right Under Your Nose

    Why The Best Educational Toys Are Right Under Your Nose0

    The best, most educational toys an infant or toddler can have are right under parents’ noses and, mostly likely, are free or very low cost. To adults, pots, wooden spoons, empty boxes, and even Corian tile samples, silicone muffin cups, and Velcro hair rollers may look like a bunch of unrelated junk, but to children,

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  • 7 Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers

    7 Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers0

    Many adults and children appreciate the pleasure of reading an entertaining and engaging book, short story, or article on a favorite subject or interesting matter. Who can argue with Walt Disney when he said, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island”? However, there are some children who

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  • EcoTarium Brings New Exhibit Home With ‘City Science’

    EcoTarium Brings New Exhibit Home With ‘City Science’0

    Cities are carved out of the environment, creating a phenomenon blurring the line between urban infrastructure and the natural ecology it is replacing — or frequently displacing. Last month, the EcoTarium launched a new permanent exhibit exploring how cities maintain their infrastructure while preserving the natural communities that live in and around them. Aptly titled

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  • Massachusetts Required Children Learn to Read Starting in the 1640s

    Massachusetts Required Children Learn to Read Starting in the 1640s0

    When it comes to standardized test results, whether it’s those from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) or the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), it’s no historical accident that Massachusetts performs near the top, one education expert says. “The first public schools started in Massachusetts during the Colonial period,” said Tom Loveless, a

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  • State Official Offers Update on MCAS 2.0

    State Official Offers Update on MCAS 2.00

    Editor’s Note: Our reporter Doug Page caught up the Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester at a recent Askwith Forum at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge. This is an edited transcript of that interview. baystateparent: When will you have a decision on MCAS 2.0 test, which I guess is still under

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