New tool measures Massachusetts tech performance against other states

By Jack Newsham

“We developed MATTERS earlier this year as a critical — but previously missing — tool to inform the efforts of the Council and like-minded organizations and individuals,” said MHTC president Chris Anderson in a statement. “Governor Baker and his administration have joined a select group of business and civic leaders deeply involved in working with MATTERS to help frame an actionable economic development and job-growth strategy.”

If you wonder what tech companies plan to bring up with Massachusetts policy makers next, you might want to check out MATTERS.

The Massachusetts High Technology Council and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce unveiled a website Monday that ranks Massachusetts against other tech destinations on eight economic benchmarks that assess state laws and regulations and workforce readiness. The tool, called the Massachusetts Technology, Talent, and Economic Reporting System, or MATTERS, is meant to provide a common reference point for executives and business leaders.

By some metrics, Massachusetts does quite well. The number of bachelor’s degree holders and the percentage of its workforce devoted to tech are the second-highest in the country, and the Milken Institute rates it the top state for technology and science. But the state’s tax burdens and unemployment insurance costs are among the nation’s highest; Massachusetts ranked 45th in state and local tax burden per capita, at $5,586 a year, and 44th in unemployment insurance premiums per employee, at $666 a year. And in terms of how hard it is to hire technology workers, Massachusetts ranks dead last. Continue reading

As Dell Looks To Buy EMC, ‘Troubling’ Trends Seen Keeping Tech Talent In Mass.

By Deborah Becker

Hopkinton-based tech giant EMC Corp. has not specifically outlined just what the $67 billion deal with Dell Inc. means for its 9,700 employees here in Massachusetts.

To talk about the impact of the deal, Massachusetts High Technology Council President Chris Anderson joined Morning Edition.

“Massachusetts is not a “one tech town” but the departure of CEO leadership out of state is part of a troubling trend.  Policymakers have to focus on how to encourage and incentivize the “next EMC” from within today’s thriving startup community to grow to scale here rather than elsewhere in the future.”  ~ Chris Anderson


EMC sale will hurt, but impact not insurmountable

By Megan Woolhouse

“But Christopher Anderson, president of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, a trade group in Waltham, said the prospect of losing the corporate headquarters of EMC, the state’s fourth-largest publicly traded company, is under no circumstances a good thing for Massachusetts, even if the overall tech sector is performing well.”

The takeover of EMC Corp., announced Monday, marks the end of the state’s “Big Iron” era, subsuming the last of the big corporations that made Massachusetts a manufacturing center for powerful minicomputers and servers that helped spark a global revolution in technology.

EMC’s $67 billion planned sale to Dell Inc. of Round Rock, Texas — the largest acquisition ever in the technology industry — could also mean job losses among both EMC’s 9,700 Massachusetts employees and the legions of suppliers, consultants, and subcontractors that grew up around the company since its founding 36 years ago, local economists said. Continue reading

Baker seeks expanded Charter Schools

By Jeremy C. Fox

“Rather than having a static cap that ignores the demand for the product,” Anderson said, “the modernization of the state charter school statute would now include . . . what I would term a ‘growth cap,’ which provides for sustained increases in the number of charter schools, but in a way that is eminently manageable.”

Governor Charlie Baker proposed legislation Thursday that would allow more charter schools to open statewide, setting the stage for a Beacon Hill battle on one of the most divisive issues facing lawmakers.

The bill would permit 12 new or expanded charter schools each year but only in districts performing in the bottom 25 percent on standardized tests. Such districts include Boston, Fall River, New Bedford, Randolph and Salem, as well as the state’s two districts placed into receivership: Holyoke and Lawrence.

It would also authorize districts to unify enrollment systems to include both charter and district schools, removing roadblocks to plans like the one unveiled last month by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Continue reading

Panel Makes Case for Aligning Higher Education with Industry

By William C. Belfiore, Contributing Writer

Note: This forum was moderated by Council President Chris Anderson and featured Council members Anthony Benoit, of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology and Susan Fallon of Monster Government Solutions who co-chairs the Council’s Talent Development Policy Team.

A panel of local thought leaders representing the private sector, K-12 education, and post-secondary schooling discussed best practices for aligning education with industry needs at a panel Monday night.

At the event, organized by the Harvard Business School Association of Boston, the panelists advocated for building a more experiential curriculum into the education system in order to better reconcile education with changing workforce demands, especially in the tech space.

In order for the United States to maintain its place as some sort of world industry leader, education needs to prepare students better for the needs of industry and the workforce, said Anthony G. Benoit, president of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, a private nonprofit college specializing in two-year vocational degrees. Continue reading

This high tech exec thinks Mass. employers should support charter schools

By Mary Moore



Chris Anderson, president of the Massachusetts High Tech Council, is among those behind a petition filed this week for a ballot measure that would pave the way for annual increases in the number of charter schools statewide.

Priority would be given to areas that have the longest waiting lists of students and the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would continue to have oversight of the schools. Existing caps on charter school expansion would remain, but the ballot measure would create exemptions allowing for the creation of more charter schools.

The proposed ballot measure comes after the Massachusetts Senate last year defeated a bill that would have gradually lifted the cap on charter school seats. Charter school supporters likely would have faced similar legislative opposition again, Anderson said.

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Baker warm to charter ballot proposal, but plans to file his own bill

By Matt Murphy

“Massachusetts High Technology Council President Chris Anderson, one of the original 10 signers of the petition filed with the attorney general, said the council hoped to play a “strategic role” in advancing the ballot question or legislation to ensure that students in all districts learn the math and science skills they’ll need for the new workplace.  The enactment of additional and lasting reforms expanding student access to charter schools is an urgent moral and economic imperative,” Anderson said.

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Charter-school proponents petition to put expansion measure on 2016 ballot

By Jeremy C. Fox

Charter school proponents filed a petition Wednesday for a ballot measure that would authorize the creation or expansion of up to a dozen charter schools statewide each year.

The measure would direct state education officials to give priority to applications in the lowest-performing 25 percent of school districts and those with long waiting lists for charter seats. It would restrict the growth of seats to no more than 1 percent of student enrollment statewide.

The question would not technically raise a statewide cap on charter enrollment. The cap limits the Commonwealth to no more than 72 independent charter schools and 48 operated by traditional school districts.

Limits on individual districts, which are based on school spending, would also remain under the measure.

Instead, it would create exemptions that supporters say would address pent-up demand in urban districts that are at or near their caps, such as Boston, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, and Somerville.

“This ballot question actually takes a fairly tempered approach to increasing access in a gradual process, year by year, with retention of the important oversight of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,” said Christopher Anderson, a former chairman of the state Board of Education and one of the petition’s signers.
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With Olympics bid dead, who’s ahead? And who took a hit?

By Michael Levenson and Mark Arsenault

Some of the winners and losers after the crash of the city’s Olympic bid are clear. Governor Charlie Baker has been widely praised for refusing to endorse or oppose the effort until he had a better handle on the financial risks. Chris Dempsey, the co-chair of No Boston Olympics, has also enjoyed a blast of positive attention for opposing the bid with a level head and a respectful tone. John Fish, the construction magnate who launched Boston 2024, has seen his reputation as the one of the city’s most powerful and influential executives badly bruised. Here’s a look at some others who have come out ahead, and some who have taken a hit.


Steve Pagliuca

The iceberg was already in the rear-view mirror and the bow underwater when Pagliuca agreed to take the helm of Boston 2024 in May. Under his direction, the organization produced a new venue plan in about seven weeks, which let the organization go out with something tangible to show for all that donor money it spent.

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