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Parents, teachers critique high-stakes tests at Northampton forum

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Gus Morales, president of the Holyoke teachers union, thinks that if the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System had been around when he was growing up, he would not have received his diploma. “Had this been the culture of the schools when I was growing up, I would have dropped out,” he said to a crowd of more than 30 parents and educators at the Northampton High School library Thursday …

Hampshire Regional Drama Company to stage ‘Fools’ Friday through Sunday

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — The Hampshire Regional High School Drama Company will stage a play this weekend about a Russian village that has been cursed with stupidity. Neil Simon’s comedy “Fools,” set in the late 19th-century, follows schoolteacher Leon Tolchinsky as he tries to educate the townspeople and eventually falls for one of them, a woman named Sophia. About 30 students, grades 7 through 12, …

State places Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School on probation

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GREENFIELD — Since a state review this summer, the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School has put in place programs for Title 1 and English language learning and hired a school psychologist and three family engagement coordinators. But the changes appear to be too little, too late. The Greenfield-based cyber school has been placed on probation for 20 months until June 30, 2016, when its …

Radical ideas At the Paulo Freire charter school in Holyoke, learning is infused with ideas about social justice

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

HOLYOKE — Upon entering the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School, there is a small room to the left with five flat-screen computers. These are for students who do not have computers at home. The room is also …

Northampton Superintendent John Provost, curriculumn director Nancy Cheevers: What exactly is differentiated instruction?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Picture this 8th grade English classroom: Four students read an article on Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and prepare a guided tour complete with period costumes. Two additional student groups study models and drawings of the Globe Theatre. They also …


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I’ve always thought there is something very comforting about the month of September. The heat of the summer is mostly past, although a few well-placed days of above-80 degrees feel like the months we have just had off …

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DIRECT MAIL: Northampton Superintendent John Provost believes it is important for educators to be engaged in discussions about public education. This is why he has launched his new blog at ourworkinthenorthamptonschools.blogspot.com. “There are important discussions occurring in the public sphere concerning the future of education, and I think …

NHS teacher makes a splash

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ALL WET : Northampton High School science teacher Dan Moylan started his school year off with a splash. On the first day of school, Moylan asked his biology and environmental science classes to take part in the Ice …

NY school district investigating photos of students wearing ‘rape’ T-shirts

Friday, September 19, 2014

MELVILLE, N.Y. — Commack school officials said Friday that they are investigating two photographs on social media depicting five district high school seniors in T-shirts spelling out “rape” and could take “disciplinary and legal action if applicable.” The district, located in Suffolk County, N.Y., said in two separate …

New White House campaign targets campus sex assaults

Friday, September 19, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Friday launched a new public awareness campaign at campuses across America to prevent sexual assaults. Called “It’s on Us,” the new campaign will try to get students and others on college and university campuses to play a …

Easthampton High, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts and Mosier Elementary in South Hadley show improved MCAS rankings

Friday, September 19, 2014

Three area schools moved up in state rankings for meeting achievement gaps in Friday’s release of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test results. Meanwhile, most area school districts, including Amherst and Northampton, remained steady, and many either met or …

Winners of MacArthur ‘genius grants’ unveiled

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CHICAGO — A professor whose research is helping a California police department improve its strained relationship with the black community and a lawyer who advocates for victims of domestic abuse are among the 21 winners of this year’s …