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Jim Palermo talks about his attempts at trying to get information about the  test results from the Program For International Student Assessments.

James Palermo of Southampton battles state education department for release of Program for International Student Assessment test results

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — Jim Palermo is no stranger to raising questions, nor to encouraging others to do the same. So when the retired workers’ rights advocate and grandfather of 17 came across a report in December 2013 declaring Massachusetts students to be among the world’s highest scorers in reading, math and science, he wondered how this glowing result came about. Knowing that some schools struggle to meet state standards, he wanted to know which schools had fared so well. He wondered: Was it a fair sample? “There’s a difference between giving people information and educating people,” Palermo, 74, said Monday at his home in Southampton. “There’s …

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Amherst Regional hockey shuts out Mount Everett, advances to 3A semifinals

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Amherst Regional hockey team wasn’t pleased with its No. 3 seed for the Western Massachusetts Division 3A Tournament. The top two seeds received a bye into the semifinals. But for a team with no previous postseason experience, having to play in the first round may prove to be a …

North Star self-directed learning center will move from Hadley to Sunderland after Russell Street School lease terminated

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

SUNDERLAND — North Star, a self-directed learning center for teens, will move to Sunderland after it was forced to leave the Russell Street School in Hadley. The learning center signed a five-year lease for the building at 45 …

Safety presentation at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School postponed to Feb. 26

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A presentation at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School on improving school safety through communication has been rescheduled from Friday due to expected inclement weather. Smith Vocational Security Director Kevin Brown will present his initiative “Commit to Communicate” on Feb. 26 at 7 a.m. in the …

Obama to colleges: Skip gourmet food, fancy gyms

Friday, February 6, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS — President Barack Obama criticized university administrators Friday, saying they’d driven up the cost of college with high-priced extras such as gourmet food and lush fitness centers. He also teed off on state legislators who’ve cut funding for state schools, saying they were driving up costs past …

Proposed Deerfield school budget would cut one teacher, five classroom assistants

Thursday, February 5, 2015

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Deerfield School Committee has been given a $4.3 million draft budget that would cut one teacher and five classroom assistant positions. The proposed budget calls for increasing spending in the fiscal year beginning July 1 by 2.5 percent over this year. Principal Jeanine M. …

Deerfield School Committee votes to continue participating in state school choice program

Thursday, February 5, 2015

DEERFIELD — After a discussion that spanned the better part of three meetings, the Deerfield School Committee voted Wednesday night to continue participating in the state’s school choice program, but it will not decide how many slots will be available to out-of-town students until May, when final enrollment …

‘Kiss Me Kate’ at Easthampton High School gives audiences a front-row seat to students’ hard work

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — When Easthampton High School’s musical “Kiss Me Kate” opens Thursday, audiences will get a glimpse backstage without ever leaving their seats. “Kiss Me Kate” follows the on- and off-stage drama that occurs when a rag-tag group …

Union 28 offers superintendent’s job to Jennifer Haggerty of Fitchburg

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ERVING — If Jennifer Haggerty of Fitchburg takes the job, she will soon begin work as superintendent of the Erving, Leverett, Shutesbury, New Salem and Wendell elementary schools. The Union 28 Joint Supervisory Committee voted 9-4 to offer the job to Haggerty after four hours of interviews and …

Area news briefs

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Easthampton PULASKI CLUB MEETING: The Polish Pulaski Club of Easthampton will hold its annual stockholders meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday at the club home at 79 Maple St., Easthampton. The executive board and board of directors will be elected. The meeting is for members only. CONSERVATION GROUP: The …

Controversial Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School schedule changes to go into effect in September

Saturday, January 31, 2015

AMHERST — A new middle school schedule plan, praised by administrators but criticized by many parents and some school committee members, will go into effect in September, according to School Superintendent Maria Geryk. In an email Saturday, Geryk said she had decided to move forward with changes designed …

Sunderland Elementary School celebrates diversity

Saturday, January 31, 2015

SUNDERLAND — As Jaime Reloj of Sunderland helped his son John press a small, green, arrow-shaped sticker into the South China Sea on a giant world map Thursday night, marking the spot where the Philippines are located, a …