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Mass. launches teacher recruitment effort

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Mass. launches teacher recruitment effort

Education officials are launching a plan to recruit Massachusetts’ top teachers to work at the state’s worst schools in an effort to boost student achievement.

State Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said in a published report that the goal of the plan is to put the most talented teachers in 35 schools in nine of the state’s most troubled districts.

Chester says he’s on a mission to erase the notion that working in an underperforming school carries a negative stigma about teacher performance. He says it should instead be an opportunity to improve student achievement.

Moving to an underperforming school could mean more pay or even more leadership opportunities.

The state is setting up a Web site, amazingteachers.org, with information about the program.

Mass. Senate to debate domestic violence bills

The Massachusetts Senate is set to debate two bills this week to protect housing and job rights of domestic violence victims.

One bill would let tenants break a lease if they are victims of domestic violence without facing a penalty. The tenant must provide the landlord with written proof of their status as a victim.

The bill would also protect tenants who offer temporary shelter of up to four weeks to a victim of domestic violence, rape or stalking.

The second bill would require businesses to let workers who are domestic violence victims to take up to 15 days of vacation, paid or unpaid, if they are trying to get out of a violent situation or are seeking medical or legal help.

The Senate is expected to debate the bills today.

Conn. growing gardens at prisons to cut food costs

State corrections officials want each of the 18 prisons in Connecticut to have vegetable gardens this summer to cut down on food costs.

Inmates at Corrigan-Radgowski prison already raise their own vegetables, and that saved the state more than $5,500 last summer. Corrections Commissioner Brian Murphy is hoping for similar or better results at other prisons.

Only minimum-security inmates work in the main garden just outside the prison fence at Corrigan-Radgowski. Those serving longer sentences work at a garden inside the fence.

Inmates have grown a variety of crops, including herbs, zucchini and even watermelons.

Those who tend the gardens say they like the work, and prison officials say there has been a drop in violent incidents among them.