How You Can Support Legislation for Less Testing, More Learning

testing is not teaching
Legislators supporting the Less Testing, More Learning campaign last week filed bills for a moratorium on most of the “high stakes” tied to standardized tests. Please contact your own Representative and Senator and ask them to support these bills. 
 
You can find your Representative and Senator on the Open States web site and email them right from that site. Your email can be as simple as, “Please co-sponsor Rep./Sen. ___’s bill to ______.” If you explain why, that’s even better.
  • Rep. Mary Keefe of Worcester and Sen. Barbara L’Italien of Andover filed bills in the House and Senate for a three-year moratorium on the graduation test: No student who completes all other high school graduation requirements should be denied a high school diploma because of a score on a state standardized test. (Click here for more information and here to read the text of the bill.)
  • Sen. Pat Jehlen of Somerville filed a bill for a three-year moratorium on the state’s five-level rating system for schools and districts, and also on new school “turnarounds” and state takeovers.They are based almost entirely on test scores.
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How You Can Support Legislation for Charter School Accountability

    Legislators have filed bills that would bring needed accountability to charter schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please contact your own Representative and Senator and ask them to support these bills.
  • Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline) has filed a bill requiring local approval for charter schools in order for a charter school to receive funding from the local district (Docket HD78) AND a bill requiring charter schools to be more transparent and accountable to the public (Docket HD3296). Click here to read the text of the bill.
  • Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville) has filed a bill to prohibit charter schools from imposing requirements that are not imposed on regular public school parents or students (Docket HD196). Click here to read the text of the bill.
  • Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) has filed a bill to impose a three-year moratorium on new Commonwealth charter schools (Docket SD223). Click here to read the text of the bill.
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“Don’t Expand Charters Until We Have Accurate Data on Their Impact”

Citizens for Public Schools responded to State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s report on charter schools with this statement by CPS Executive Director Lisa Guisbond:

“I applaud the state auditor for scrutinizing charter school practices and, in the process, uncovering serious flaws in the way the state holds these schools accountable. The auditor’s report reveals that we still don’t know how many students are waiting to get seats in charter schools. The charter schools make extravagant claims, which the auditor’s report says are inflated. We will not know the truth until the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education holds them accountable for accurate data.

Unfortunately, the auditor did not examine a larger problem, which is that charter schools are selective — both as to who is admitted and who is allowed to stay. The question for Massachusetts is, do we want a dual education system, one selective and one educating all students?   → Read More

CPS and the BTU Present

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Challenging the Oligarchs:

Anthony Cody on Taking Back Our Schools

January 15, 6:30 p.m. at the Boston Teachers Union Hall

Join us to hear Anthony Cody talk about his new book, The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges The Gates Foundation, on January 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Boston Teachers Union Hall, 180 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester, MA 02125. (To register now, click here. There will be refreshments, registration and book sales at 6:30 p.m., and the program will start at 7 p.m.) After his talk and some time for discussion, questions and answers, there will be an opportunity to buy Anthony’s book and get it signed.

Cody taught in high-poverty schools in Oakland, Calif., for 24 years, 18 of them as a middle school science teacher. Cody’s popular blog, “Living in Dialogue,”  appeared for years in Education Week and is now an independent web site.    → Read More

“More than a Score” Speakers Brought Energy, Inspiration

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Thanks to Barbara Madeloni, Jesse Hagopian, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Tim Shea and Monty Neill for an energizing discussion at CPS’s “More than a Score” event Thursday. For those who couldn’t join us, you can read an excellent report here. And stay tuned for the availability of a video of the event.   → Read More