Mass. makes strides in SAT scores
Massachusetts education officials say the state’s black public high school students are outperforming their peers nationwide when it comes to the SAT.
Black students made strong gains in all three subjects in 2010 when compared with 2009, including an eight-point gain in critical reading, a nine-point gain in mathematics and a seven-point gain in writing.
The math and writing gains outpaced national gains and means African American students on average now outscore their peers nationally in both sections of the college entrance exam.
The result released by The College Board on Monday also show that Massachusetts scored 524 in math, an increase of two points from 2009, outscoring all other states where at least 60 percent of public school students participated.
Menino endorses Gov. Patrick, a fellow Democrat
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is backing Gov. Deval Patrick for re-election.
The mayor announced he was supporting his fellow Democrat after a joint appearance last week in Boston’s South End.
Menino says Patrick is a leader, not a politician. He cited his work to boost education and economic development in Massachusetts.
Patrick says Menino is an “invaluable partner” in moving the city and state forward.
The governor is being challenged for re-election by Republican Charles Baker, independent Timothy Cahill and Green-Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein.
Menino’s endorsement is no surprise, given that Patrick and Menino share party ties. But it could boost the governor’s re-election prospects by placing Menino’s field organization at his disposal.
Menino was re-elected last fall and is now the city’s longest-serving mayor.
Mass. higher ed commissioner critical of cuts
The state’s higher education commissioner says continued cuts to public colleges and universities are forcing institutions to choose between affordability and quality while “placing the future of the state in jeopardy.”
Commissioner Richard Freeland criticized state legislators last week for cutting funds to the state’s 15 community colleges, state universities and the five-campus University of Massachusetts system at a time of increased student demand.
Freeland said Massachusetts has made some of the deepest cuts to higher education in the nation. State appropriation for public higher education has dropped an additional 12 percent since last year, in what he calls a “worrisome pattern.”
To make up for cuts he says colleges raise fees and reduce staff, compromising quality.
Freeland says if Massachusetts does not start investing in public higher education the economy will suffer.
New hospital announced near Haiti’s capital
A U.S. humanitarian group and Haitian health officials have announced plans for a $15 million teaching hospital north of the earthquake-battered capital.
The Boston-based organization Partners in Health says the 320-bed facility to be built in the town of Mirebalais is intended to take pressure off the overburdened and underfinanced general hospital in Port-au-Prince. Few Haitians now have regular access to health care.
Partners in Health said Friday that the teaching hospital will serve an estimated 450 to 550 patients a day. It will include six operating rooms, have digital X-ray and be powered in part by solar panels.