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

Register Now for CPS Annual Meeting with Daniel Koretz

Join us for CPS’s annual meeting on Thursday, March 22 at the Church on the Hill, 140 Bowdoin Street, Boston, 5:30 pm refreshments, 6-8:30 pm program.

Our guest speaker is Daniel Koretz, author of The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better

Click HERE to register now.

All are welcome. Capacity is limited, so register now. 

  • Hear our guest speaker
  • Learn about our advocacy campaigns
  • Elect officers and board

CPS non-members are welcome – Suggested donation of $15 (can be applied to membership). Click HERE to join, renew your membership, or donate.     → Read More

Don’t Miss this Upcoming Opportunity: “Beyond MCAS: Excellence and Equity in the Brookline Schools”

What: Keynote speakers Jeanette Deutermann and Ricardo Rosa, along with Brookline educators, will puncture myths about MCAS testing. The forum will address questions such as these:

 

  • What is MCAS? Is it required? What is the opt-out movement?
  • How has the MCAS changed public education in Brookline?
  • What are the facts about MCAS and equity?
  • Does my child really need to practice taking standardized tests?
  • Does the MCAS enrich or impoverish our children’s experience in the schools?

When: Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 7 – 8:30 pm (Light refreshments at 6:30pm)

Where: All Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon St., at Dean Road, Brookline

Who: The event is sponsored by the Alliance for Brookline Schools, a project of Brookline PAX, the Brookline Parents Organization, Brookline for Racial Justice and Equity, the Brookline Educators Union, and Citizens for Public Schools.

Jeanette Deutermann is a mother of two boys and one of the founders of Long Island Opt-Out, a movement for whole-child education in New York state public schools.   → Read More

Statement on Boston Public Schools Start Times to Boston School Committee

 

January 10, 2018

Dear Chairman Loconto and members of the Boston School Committee:

Citizens for Public Schools supports the thousands of Boston parents who refused to accept the top-down mandate of drastically changed school start times.

The changes were ordered with no student involvement and after parents had been asked only for their general opinions on desirable school schedules. The actual changes under consideration were never revealed to parents during 18 months of supposed community engagement.

After many hours of testimony at a School Committee meeting, 8,500 signatures on a petition, and a series of community meetings at which parents, teachers, and students from across the city spoke out against the plan, School Superintendent Tommy Chang finally agreed to a one-year moratorium.

Though there was support for making high school start times later, opposition to the plan for elementary students was massive. And there was an apparent consensus that the process itself was fatally flawed, resulting in a plan that did not meet the needs of families.   → Read More

What Ever Happened to Recess?

On November 1, the Alliance for Brookline Schools (of which CPS is a member) sponsored “What ever happened to recess?” with author and educator Peter Gray. Professor Gray spoke on “Play Deficit Disorder: A National Crisis and How to Solve it Locally.” 
 
For those who couldn’t join us, we are pleased to share two videos, one of Peter Gray’s talk, and the other of the panel discussion that followed, featuring Gray with Brookline teachers and a member of the Brookline School Committee. The panel was moderated by Adam Weiner, co-president of the Brookline Parents Organization
 
Click here to view the video of Gray’s talk, and here to view the panel discussion.    → Read More