Your support is the reason…

…we reached our year-end goal! We are thrilled we raised $20,032! Besides helping us pay the rent, realizing this goal feels like an important affirmation of our work. So we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your support will help realize our 2020 vision in support of Massachusetts public schools:

  • to that the promised funding gets to the students who need it,
  • to fight privatization, and
  • to replace discriminatory high-stakes testing with fair and helpful assessments. 

Watch this space (and follow us on Facebook and Twitter) for actions, events and other ways you can stay involved and help us realize this vision in the coming months. If you are interested in working on one of our three areas of focus — testing, funding or privatization — contact me about joining the CPS policy circle in that area.
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Thanks to You, We Met our Giving Tuesday Match!

Yesterday CPS founding board member Norma Shapiro issued our Giving Tuesday challenge and announced a generous $2,500 one-day only match – and just before the midnight deadline, we met the match!

Giving Tuesday was a great day to make a difference and we thank all of you who did! In 24 hours, we went from 15% to 31% of our year-end goal! We’re powered by you, our grassroots members.
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Tell your legislators: Communities know best

Speak Up for the Student Opportunity Act Today! Massachusetts is now one step closer to fulfilling its promise of fully and equitably fund public schools for all. Contact your legislators to make sure the best possible bill is enacted!

The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have unanimously approved their own versions of the Student Opportunity Act, the Senate on Oct. 3 and the House on Oct. 23. The two chambers must work out remaining differences before sending a final bill to Governor Charlie Baker. They plan to act swiftly in the hopes of enacting a bill before the Legislature recesses on November 20. Contact them now!   → Read More

Strong local accountability matters in state school funding bill

The Boston Globe recently editorialized against an amendment to the Student Opportunity Act, legislation to update the state school funding formula. The amendment clarified the original intent of the bill and strengthened local accountability.

In response, CPS Testing Policy Circle member Jennifer Debin wrote this letter:

The disagreement over accountability language in the education funding bill is simple: Do state officials know better what should happen in schools, or do local educators?

If state officials have all the answers, it makes sense for them to overrule local decisions and impose policies. That’s the approach since No Child Left Behind, and results are lackluster.

In contrast, people who know the children by name have good ideas about how to help them learn.

The original language was ambiguous because it said local districts should change their plans to suit the state, but what if districts decide their plans are better? The amendment made clear that the state advises but local people decide.   → Read More

CPS speaks for charter accountability & local democratic control at Joint Education Committee hearing

Advocacy takes persistence, so CPS was back at the statehouse on Monday, October 7, for a hearing before the Joint Committee on Education. It was standing room only at the committee’s public hearing on “Charter Schools and Miscellaneous topics,” so we waited for hours to speak. Executive Director Lisa Guisbond, Board Member Carol Savage and CPS member Christine Langhoff spoke in favor of three bills that would improve charter school accountability, transparency, and local democratic control: H.593, An Act to ensure charter school transparency and public accountability; S.314, An Act relative to local approval for charter schools; and S.298, An Act relative to the financial impact of charter schools.

To read the CPS testimony, click here.

We spoke against H.3853, An Act relative to the operation of charter schools in New Bedford, and H.496, An Act relative to establishing a private school tuition deduction task force.   → Read More