Do you know where the two candidates for governor stand on education?

The next governor of Massachusetts will have great influence on the health and well being of our public schools through choices on funding, privatization, assessment and accountability. He will also influence K-12 policy through appointments to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

He will also make appointments to the Supreme Judicial Court. The court’s ruling that the state’s system of funding schools was unconstitutional forced a major increase in state aid for low-income communities in 1993. A very different court this year kept the “millionaire’s tax” off the ballot.

Do you know where the two candidates stand on education? CPS considers it an important part of our mission to educate the public about public education, so we devote this edition of “News You Can Use About Our Schools” to summarizing the two candidates’ positions on three aspects of public education. (Note: CPS does not endorse candidates for public office.)   → Read More

CPS Statement on Results of New MCAS-Based Accountability System

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“It may seem reassuring that Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeff Riley says that ‘the idea behind identifying schools for targeted assistance was not intended to be punitive, but rather was an attempt to provide the support they need so students can thrive.’ Yet we know that there are not adequate resources for the state and certainly not for the districts serving our most needy students. 

So we have a new, more “challenging” and “rigorous” test-based accountability system that has identified hundreds of schools as needing targeted assistance, but not the assistance or resources they need. Whether or not this is a good way of identifying which schools do or do not need assistance is another question.

It’s past time to fund our schools and fundamentally rethink our accountability system. This “new and improved” system remains too focused on standardized test results, which are largely driven by a school’s socioeconomics. 

No doubt Commissioner Riley knows that Lawrence Public Schools have some of the brightest, most motivated and hard-working students in the Commonwealth.   → Read More

Opting out of MCAS this spring?

Check out these nifty t-shirts created by a Somerville parent. (Email if you’re interested in one and we can connect you.)   → Read More

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