20 Years After Education Reform, CPS Calls for New Direction

Citizens for Public Schools (CPS), a 31-year-old organization dedicated to improving education for Massachusetts children, has released a new report on how those children have fared in the 20 years since the Education Reform Act was signed, June 18, 1993. The report is titled, Twenty Years After Education Reform: Choosing a Path Forward To Equity and Excellence For All.

After reviewing a range of evidence regarding the state’s progress toward achieving equity and excellence in public education, the group found serious shortcomings in two out of three major outcomes of the law’s high stakes testing and Commonwealth charter schools. The law brought an influx of more than $2 billion in state funding for public schools, with clear positive results, but the report’s authors found that the funding formula designed to augment and equalize education funding is no longer up to the task.

The group’s primary recommendations include:

  1. Update the Foundation Budget and increase state revenues in a progressive way to provide adequate funding for quality public education, pre-K through higher education.
  1. Stop high-stakes testing and impose a moratorium on the high-stakes uses of the new generation of tests, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests, which state authorities are proposing to replace MCAS over the next two years.
  1. Stop the approval or expansion of Commonwealth charters until funding is provided by the state, rather than the local school district, and until problems of student recruitment and retention are resolved.

Read the press release..

Download and read the executive summary PDF.

Download and read the full report. (To download for printing in Black and White, click here.)