Did you catch all three education commissioners and the new education secretary in one place this week? We did. And we have our own highlights to share with you.

The Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy released their 10th annual Condition of Education report this week. Held in person for the first time in a few years, “state of the state of education” in Massachusetts was held at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. The event highlighted appearances from the commissioners of Early Education and Care (EEC), Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Higher Education (DHE) and the newly appointed Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler from the Executive Office of Education.

The 2023 Action Guide and Data Dashboard outline recommendations for improving education from early childhood to post-secondary transition planning. It will make for some nice reading while you are trying to stay warm on a February weekend with below-zero temps. T

The video recording of the even is also available here.

More interesting to us was the comments shared by Secretary Tutwiler, Commissioner Jeff Riley and Commission Noe Ortega. Secretary Tutwiler gave a keynote speech focusing on the need to “stabilize, heal and transform” in post-pandemic era education.

Commissioner Ortega spoke about the need to look at barriers in educator preparation programs. We have some ideas on how MTELs are barriers in ed prep that we are more than happy to share.

And Commissioner Riley was THIS CLOSE in his remarks about teachers:

“I think we need to get back to focusing on our teachers. We haven’t supported them all enough,” Riley said. “They have new great ideas that can be brought into their classrooms, and at this time it feels like we’re tying one hand behind our teachers’ backs… we probably have the best teaching force pre-K through college in the country, and yet we’ve never given them support.”

Jeff Riley in Teacher Supports Flagged As Emerging Priority, Sam Drysdale, State House News, 1/31/23

Far be it from the wonks here at The Policy Minute to suggest what might be tying one or both hands of teachers are underfunding and the punitive aspects of the MCAS regime.

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