“The focus on income, on college and career readiness speaks to a system … tied to the capitalist class and its needs for profits," Page said. “We, on the other hand, have as a core belief that the purpose of schools must be to nurture thinking, caring, active and committed adults, parents, community members, activists, citizens.”
Page’s capitalism-loathing comments (watch at the 11:29 mark) come as the MTA has stepped up its years-long opposition to MCAS tests.
But Page wasn't just criticizing standardized testing (which, while far from perfect, has been found to contribute to college and workplace success). He was also challenging the idea that teachers should build academic skills to prepare our kids for college and career success in the workforce, writes Michael Jonas at CommonWealth.
And that view should alarm every employer who is struggling to hire and every employer who is frustrated that, too often, employees lack basic reading, writing, or math skills.
“This is a world where reading, writing, and math matter and they’ve become even more important," Paul Harrington, an economist at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, tells Jonas. "High school graduates who have higher literacy and math skills have higher earnings than kids who don’t.”
Page’s comments also demonstrate a disregard for the enormous racial wealth gap holding back communities of color, said Edith Bazile, the former president of Black Educators Alliance of Massachusetts.
“I found it infuriating, I found it to be an elitist, condescending statement,” Bazile said Page’s comments
And so should every employer.
Newton to explore a more welcoming Washington Street
The City of Newton will undertake a $3.5 million pilot project to redesign a one-mile stretch of Washington St. from Chestnut St. in West Newton to Lowell Ave. in Newtonville, writes John Hilliard at the Globe.
The project would add bike lanes, improve pedestrian crossings and reduce the number of lanes from four to two, as part of an effort to make the roadway safer and more welcoming.
A timeline for the pilot has not been determined.
To understand the concepts behind redesigning Washington Street, but not the specifics, check out this super interesting video made by urban planner Jeff Speck seven years ago.
The city council's Land Use Committee will hold a hybrid public hearing Thursday at 7 p.m. exploring Mark Developments' proposal for the former Santander Building, in West Newton.
The five-story project includes a 160-seat restaurant with an outdoor seating area for al fresco dining and 50 residential rental units.
The hearing will focus on traffic, parking, transportation demand management, and sustainability.
Other need to knows
It's now been 65 days since our Legislature split for vacation without passing the Economic Development Bill. How long was your vacation this year?
A new café called Little Luke’s — run by Phil Emmanuel of Grape Leaf in Newton Highlands — is preparing to open in the former Depot Cafe on the Greenway in Newton Upper Falls. All Over Newton explains where the name comes from (and no it’s not from the “Gilmore Girls").
The Riverside Green Line trains are operating again this week, with another 11-day shutdown resuming Saturday (Oct. 8 -16). The Needham, Franklin/Foxboro, and Providence/Stoughton Line commuter rail trains may experience delays up to 10-15 minutes this week due to ongoing work above the tracks and platform at Forest Hills.
In August, the Baker administration issued the final guidelines outlining how all 175 MBTA communities can comply with the new multifamily zoning requirement. There’s also a recorded webinar on the guidelines here.
Business owners need to be aware that if the ERC is done wrong, it could lead to them having to pay it back later if the IRS decides to conduct an audit. In addition, be wary of groups that say the ERC will be quick. It often takes eight months to a year, or longer, to receive the refund, he adds.
Supreme Court has a busy business docket
The Supreme Court’s new term started yesterday and the docket includes cases that could impact affirmative action, voting, religion, and gay rights.
Included are cases that could make it easier to challenge the constitutionality of the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission and whether states can require corporations to agree to be sued in that state’s courts as a condition of doing business in the state.
Each year at our annual Fall Business Breakfast our Board of Directors' Executive Committee presents the R.L. Tennant Award to one chamber member who has made an extraordinary contribution to our business community.
It’s our highest annual recognition.
Past recipients included Josephine McNeil of CAN-DO, Walter Tennant of RL Tennant Insurance (the award is named after his dad who, like Walter, was a long-time chamber activist), Marshall Sloane of Century Bank, Dr. Michael Jellinek of Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Peter Smith of Green Newton and Ken Brennan from Village Bank.
This year we will present the Tennant Award to Linda Sloane Kay, who is retiring from our board this year after serving as our chair during the height of the pandemic and as chair of our governance committee and in other capacities over many years.
Kay was Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Century Bank, the largest family-controlled bank in New England, and was well known for its extraordinary philanthropy and community service. Century merged with Eastern Bank in 2021.
She’s currently Managing Partner of Sloane Enterprises, LLC, an owner and manager of retail and office properties in Massachusetts.
It’s been an honor and an inspiration to collaborate with Linda over these many years.