Putting Massachusetts Students and Schools to the Test

WED, APR 10, 2002 (1:33:28)

James Peyser, chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and Ted Sizer, founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools, discuss the controversial Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test. Heated debate has surrounded the MCAS test since 1993, when it was first introduced to identify and help students and schools that were failing. Advocates call the MCAS test the foundation for a bold plan to reform education in the state while critics insist this standardized text is too narrow in its assessment of students’ abilities.

+ BIO: James Peyser

James Peyser is a partner with NewSchools Venture Fund and serves as chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education, a position he has held since 1999. He is also chairman of the Educational Management Audit Council. Prior to joining NewSchools, Peyser served as education advisor to Governors Mitt Romney and Jane Swift. He also worked for eight years as Executive Director of Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. During his tenure at Pioneer, Peyser took a four month leave of absence to serve as Under Secretary of Education and Special Assistant to Governor William Weld for Charter Schools. Peyser is a member of the board of overseers of WGBH and is a former member of the board of directors of Boston Partners in Education. He also serves on the policy board of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

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