The THRIVE Act

An Act empowering students and schools to thrive - H.495 - S.246

  • Establishes a moratorium on standardized testing being a requirement for high school graduation

  • Creates a grant program for school districts to establish task forces to develop alternative assessment models

High-stakes testing and the associated accountability measures have undermined our public education system for far too long. Massachusetts is only one of eight states in the country that ties its standardized test to graduation and there is no correlation between having a standardized graduation exam requirement and academic achievement. The punitive aspects of the MCAS regime are especially detrimental to students with Individualized Education Plans, students learning English as a second language, students of color and students from groups that have been historically marginalized from an equitable and supportive education. Recent studies have also demonstrated that state receiverships, which are inherently undemocratic, do not work.

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This bill would address these issues by:

  • Replacing the MCAS graduation requirement with one that allows students’ districts to certify that they have satisfactorily completed coursework showing mastery of the skills, competencies and knowledge required by the state standards.
  • Eliminating state receiverships and reinstating democratic control to communities and school committees.
  • Establishing a commission to create a new, whole-child system of assessing our schools, building on important experiments in our state and nation, which can be implemented in coming years.

Read more here.

the decision makers

Joint Committee on Education

Who on committee has co-sponsored:

state senators:

Jason Lewisred x
Jason Lewis (D)
Winchester

chair

Sal DiDomenicogreen check
Sal DiDomenico (D)
Everett

chair

Patricia Jehlengreen check
Patricia Jehlen (D)
Somerville
Patrick O'Connorgreen check
Patrick O'Connor (R)
Weymouth
Robyn Kennedygreen check
Robyn Kennedy (D)
Worcester
Rebecca Rauschgreen check
Rebecca Rausch (D)
Needham

state representatives:

Denise Garlickgreen check
Denise Garlick (D)
Needham

chair

Steven Ultrinored x
Steven Ultrino (D)
Malden

chair

Vanna Howardgreen check
Vanna Howard (D)
Smitty Pignatelligreen check
Smitty Pignatelli (D)
Lee
Kate Donaghuegreen check
Kate Donaghue (D)
Westborough
Andres Vargasred x
Andres Vargas (D)
Haverhill
Dan Senagreen check
Dan Sena (D)
Christopher Worrellred x
Christopher Worrell (D)
Boston
Joseph McGonaglered x
Joseph McGonagle (D)
Everett
Kimberly Fergusonred x
Kimberly Ferguson (R)
Holden
Kelly Peasered x
Kelly Pease (R)

Who has co-sponsored:

History of the bill

2025

Feb 2024

Reporting date extended to June 30, 2024

2024

Oct 2023

Joint committee hearing held

Feb 2023

Referred to the Joint Committee on Education

Jan 2023

Bill re-introduced as H.495/S.744

2023

Aug 2022

Sent to study (Study Order: H.5074)

2022

Sep 2021

Hearing in Joint Committee on Education

Mar 2021

Referred to the committee on Education

Jan 2021

Bill filed as HD.952

2021

Feb 2020

Bill sent to study

2020

Jun 2019

Hearing in Joint Committee on Education

Jan 2019

Bill filed

2019

Advocacy Organizations

MTA
MEJA
AFT-MA