CPS Statement on Legislature’s Failure to Pass School Funding Bill

It is outrageous, as well as “unfathomable and inexcusable,” to quote Senator Chang-Diaz, for the Foundation Budget bill to fail. The bill arrived at the conference committee already compromised by the House’s failure to include funding for English language learners and low-income students. Rep. Peisch cited the “complexities” involved, but these complexities have been studied for years, and this funding problem is eminently solvable.

 It is past time for action!  A child born in 1993, when the Foundation Funding formula was crafted, is now a 25-year-old adult. And that adult is wondering if their own child will have public schools with enough resources to provide a whole child education. Where’s the legislative leadership to solve problems that have been staring us in the face for years? — Lisa Guisbond   → Read More

CPS fired up by our “More than a Score” session at MEJA convening

Thanks to all of the wonderful students, parents, educators and activists who joined us at the MEJA convening in Worcester Saturday, June 23.

Thanks especially to the amazing group who participated in CPS’s “More than a Score” breakout session.

We all know the system is unfair, ineffective and narrows the curriculum. It’s time to demand change! Students are more than a score!    → Read More

CPS Statement to the Boston School Committee: “Lay your cards on the table”

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. I am Lisa Guisbond, executive director of Citizens for Public Schools. We have been working to strengthen public schools across the state for more than 30 years.

We joined with other organizations to sign a letter to you and to Mayor Walsh about community involvement in Build BPS and the major decisions about grade configuration, school start times, and perhaps school closures that are likely to be associated with Build BPS.

The letter is 750 words long. I can summarize it in six: Lay your cards on the table.

These decisions will affect the lives of thousands of children. If you genuinely want community involvement, you must spell out the alternatives you are considering. Don’t dribble out your plan, a small school closing here, a parcel of land there.

We urge you to learn the lesson of the start time fiasco. You had 10,000 responses from the school communities.   → Read More

SAMPLE Opt-Out Letter from Somerville

A group of parents sent this collective letter opting their children out of high-stakes MCAS testing! Share around so parents and students can make the best possible choices for themselves around participating in MCAS.

Dear Principal _____________,

We are writing to let you know that our children will not take part in any of the sessions of MCAS the 2017/18 school year: Here we listed the names and grades of the 6 students who are opting out.

We ask that you make arrangements for these children to have a productive educational experience during the testing period(s). We do not want our children to be logged into the test by themselves or anyone else, nor sat in front of a computer on which the test will be given. We request that they be marked as Not Tested for each and every MCAS test this school year. As per the state’s suggestion, we encourage the test administrator to document the refusals and keep them on record at ESCS in case questions arise about the school’s participation rate.   → Read More

Thank you for coming to CPS’s Annual Meeting 2018!

We had a full room, and a packed schedule on Thursday for Citizens for Public Schools’ 2018 Annual Meeting! 

Some highlights: 

Executive Director, Lisa Guisbond gives opening remarks, stating “CPS has been a voice for public education [in Massachusetts] for over 35 years.”

Julie Johnson (Executive Board Member) leads voting process to elect Carol Savage and Tito Jackson as CPS’s new Board members

Norma Shapiro (Executive Board Member) gives a moving dedication of the Annual Meeting to Kathleen Kelley, former President of the Boston Teacher’s Union and American Federation of Teachers- MA, as well as former CPS Advisory Board Member

Daniel Koretz, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, gives the keynote with some memorable quotes: 

  • “The bad news– absolutely pervasive bad test prep… much of it is just gaming, and it’s particularly pervasive in low-income schools.”
  • “I want to see things like engagement, kids motivated and enjoying learning.”
  • “We need to set reachable targets.
   → Read More