Whole Child Education

Problem

  • Budget shortfalls combined with a narrow focus on the subjects covered by MCAS tests are causing other areas of children’s learning to be neglected or eliminated.
  • As a result, too many students are losing access to essentials like art, social studies, music, physical education, even recess.
  • Districts serving low-income and minority students are often the first to feel the pressure to eliminate the so-called “extras,” which are really necessities.
  • Though Education Reform was meant to address and correct inequities among affluent and poor school districts, these inequities persist and deny poor kids the kinds of well-rounded education they need to succeed in work and life.
  • Without a “whole child education,” children and young adults are disadvantaged and unlikely to succeed in postsecondary education, in their career, or as citizens of our democracy.

Position

Citizens for Public Schools believes that most parents want and expect schools to educate the whole child. Parents expect schools to do more than prepare their kids to take tests in a few academic subjects.

  • We believe that Massachusetts public schools can and should provide a well-rounded education and meet the needs of the whole child, for every child, no matter their ZIP code.
  • We support schools that value the dignity and worth of children and teachers, schools that succeed by meeting students’ individual needs.
  • We believe social and emotional development are as important as academics.
  • We think schools should nurture important qualities that tests don’t currently measure: creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and diligence.

Solution

Citizens for Public Schools supports H 3660, which calls for the creation of a balanced assessment and accountability system that will promote 21st century skills, educate the whole child and focus state attention and resources on schools and districts that most need help in their efforts to improve quality and outcomes for every student.

What Can You Do?

  • Join Citizens for Public Schools.
  • Contact your legislators: Link to Mass.Gov Legislators Info and urge them to support H 3660.
  • Write letters to the editor sharing your perspective on how to improve public education and educate the whole child by reforming the high-stakes MCAS system.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about the need to improve public education for all with better assessment and accountability and urge them to join CPS.

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