Join CPS and Matt Damon Sept. 13 for Backpack Full of Cash documentary

Please join us on Wednesday, September 13 at 7 pm at the Wheelock Family Theater (200 Riverway, Boston) for the Boston premiere of the acclaimed documentary Backpack Full of Cash, about the threat of privatization to our public schools. Click here to view the trailer.    → Read More

Life and Learning in MA Turnaround Schools

On Tuesday, June 13, Senator Pat Jehlen hosted a powerful State House briefing featuring eyewitness accounts from a student, a parent and teachers about what it actually looks and feels like to be in a Level 4 “turnaround” school. 

It was clear that the current system is not helping but is causing harm and dislocation to black and brown communities, especially those with large populations of recent immigrants and English language learners. It is also clear that, under the current federal education law, it doesn’t have to be this way. 
I urge those who couldn’t be there to watch at least some of the recording, including the powerful testimonies of Brighton High teacher (and finalist for MA Teacher of the Year) Martha Boisselle and Excel High School student Trinity Kelly, which come in the first 15 minutes of the video. Click here to watch. 
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Less Testing Group to Ed Commissioner: “Does Anti-Bullying Policy Still Stand?”

The Less Testing, More Learning coalition has called on Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester to denounce the bullying or punishing of students who opt out of the MCAS.

The coalition’s call followed a letter from Commissioner Chester to school leaders that struck a significantly different tone than was communicated by him on the same subject in January 2016.

Most notably absent from Chester’s recent letter was anti-bullying language that had been included in 2016 instructions to school leaders on the MCAS, saying that students should not be pressured or punished if they declined to take the test.

In 2016, Chester told superintendents to try to persuade students to take the MCAS, but if they refused, “We ask principals and test proctors to handle refusals with sensitivity. Students should not be pressured to take the test, nor should they be punished for not taking the test.” [The memo is here.]

This week, he sent new instructions for handling opt-outs.   → Read More

CPS Supports 2017-18 MA Bills to Fund Our Schools and Stop Overtesting Our Students

Citizens for Public Schools supports a number of bills filed for the 2017-18 Massachusetts legislative session that address school funding, high-stakes testing, accountability, privatization and other issues. Click here to read summaries of the bills we support and oppose.    → Read More

Postponed by Snow! New Date, Wed. March 15: The Schools Our Communities Deserve

I hope to see all of our Brookline friends and neighbors this Thursday at “The Schools Our Communities Deserve,” All Saints Church, 1773 Beacon St. (at Dean Road), 6:30 to 8:30 pm. It’s going to be an engaging and important conversation about public education in our community, with music, food and excellent speakers, including MTA President Barbara Madeloni and Ricardo Rosa, professor of education at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth!   → Read More