, Salem, MA

Local News

April 10, 2014

McGeney: Mitchell Chester needs to go


The committee unanimously agreed on Tuesday to send a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick and other officials that says that the MCAS has led to “unprecedented improvement in student achievement in Massachusetts” since 1993, and to consider abandoning it in favor of a still “unproven and theoretical” test that may hold promise is a “monumental decision” that “demands objectivity, fairness and the impartial scrutiny of empirical data to determine the outcome.

“We believe that Mitchell Chester, by virtue of his role as National Chair of the PARCC Governing Board and other actions, represents a serious breach of trust, which is at odds with his primary duties and responsibilities, and at the very least gives the impression of bias towards PARCC and compromises the decision-making process,” the letter reads.

“There are some very intelligent people who think it’s (Common Core) great, and there are some very intelligent people who think it’s going to be lousy, but there are 90 percent of the people who don’t have a clue,” McGeney said.

Live and learn

Seniors at Brooksby Village just started their third semester of Live and Learn courses at the retirement complex, with classes on writing short stories, how to make over lamp shades, digital camera basics, beading, researching family roots and more. Community Resources Coordinator Fran Gerrior says a group of residents and staff collaborated on ways to increase educational opportunities at Brooksby, and this was the result. The classes, which are free with minimal charges for supplies, are even taught by fellow residents.

A real gas

If you’re in favor of tanking those automatic gas tax hikes, this might be the event for you. Tomorrow, WRKO’s Jeff Kuhner will be a special guest at a fundraiser for Tax the Gas Tax held at SpringHill Suites on Route 1. The group is a coalition of Republican lawmakers, including Peabody Rep. Leah Cole, and others opposed to automatic tax increases that are tied to inflation. That’s on top of a 3-cent tax hike. The group has collected 100,000 signatures from Bay State residents in an effort to repeal part of the law by ballot question this fall. Proceeds from tomorrow’s event will help purchase bumper stickers and other promotional materials. There’s a VIP reception from 6 to 7 p.m., which costs $100 per ticket, and a general reception from 7 to 8 p.m., which is $35. You can purchase tickets at

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