... Fresh data from feds updates pay equity gap between men and women in Massachusetts ...... Public Health Committee plans Sept. 26 hearing on "aid in dying" bills ...... Senate plans to resume formal sessions in late September, perhaps Sept. 28 ...... House advances title insurance bill (H 567) ...... Environmentalists plan stand-ins to call out Baker on fossil fuels, press for more clean energy ...... Treasury announces latest names added to unclaimed property list ...... Flanagan resignation leaves Senate without chair of Mental Health, Substance Abuse Committee ...... Tax collections under benchmark, up 1.9 percent two months into fiscal 2018 ...... Baker plays central role at three-hour U.S. Senate hearing on health care ...... MassDEP plans hearing Tuesday on MassDOT's updated transit projects status report ...... Major annual health care cost report scheduled for release on Wednesday ...
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House:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (informal)
Senate:
ADJOURNED 'til Thursday at 11 a.m. (no calendar)

OPPONENTS STEADFAST IN CRITICISM OF HIGH STAKES STUDENT TESTS

By Katie Lannan
STATE HOUSE NEW SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 12, 2017....The state's standardized testing program, which has held up despite years of criticism, was in the crosshairs again on Tuesday as lawmakers heard testimony on bills that would temporarily halt the use of test scores in teacher evaluations and as graduation requirements.

Supporters and opponents offered their takes on bills sponsored by Sen. Michael Rush (S 308) and Rep. Marjorie Decker (H 2844) that would place a three-year moratorium on what critics call the "high stakes" nature of standardized tests. Backers said the pause would allow Massachusetts to reconsider its approach to testing and develop a better method of assessing students.

"I want to hold policymakers accountable for the 11 days of high-stakes testing that my students in fifth grade endure, for the six weeks that we stop teaching because our school becomes a warehouse for testing," Hull teacher Deb McCarthy told the committee. "And I want somebody to be held accountable for all the students on [individualized education programs] who are not serviced so that our special education personnel can be deployed to proctor a test."


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