Healing Our Students and Schools: A Community Conversation to Resist High-Stakes Testing and Reclaim Public Education

Wednesday, June 10th, 7pm, by Zoom

For nearly 30 years, we have lived under an MCAS-driven education system that ignores child development, narrows the curriculum, is harmful to student health and wellness, and most reliably tells about students’ wealth and address. With the COVID-19 crisis, public education is at a crossroads, with privatizers and testing companies vying to capitalize on this crisis to reinvent public schools in their own image. 

Meanwhile, students, teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors, parents, and school board members are uniting to reclaim our schools. We are working toward a just recovery in education that halts the damaging high-stakes standardized tests, emphasizes racial justice, and puts the health, happiness, and well-being of every child at the center of learning now and in the post-pandemic era. 

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In Memory of José Soler

Our dear friend and CPS board member Jose Soler passed away last night. My heart is heavy with this news, but I am grateful to have had the privilege to know and work with Jose for all these years.

Jose had a huge heart, a vigorous mind and a wide-ranging vision that allowed him to work fiercely and effectively in his community of New Bedford while also making connections to national and global struggles, including and especially in his beloved Puerto Rico.

What this pandemic has made so achingly clear is that when one of us is hurting, we are all hurting. Jose always knew that in his heart and soul, and he crafted his life based on that knowledge.

He will be missed by CPS, in New Bedford, by his fellow activists across the U.S., in his beloved Puerto Rico and by the world. Rest in power, dear Jose. – Lisa Guisbond   → Read More

MCAS 2020 canceled: Your voice made a difference!

MCAS has been canceled this year, and all of our voices made a difference! Thanks to all for speaking out and focusing on the real needs and priorities of our students, educators and families.

This is good news for students, families and educators, who have so many other life-and-death concerns right now. They should not have to worry about standardized tests on top of concerns about access to food, housing, mental and physical well-being. That’s why more than 6,000 Massachusetts residents contacted state leaders demanding that MCAS be canceled. (The legislature responded by canceling for one year the law that allows for MCAS.)

This was a significant vote, even though there will be no school for the rest of this year. It would be even better if the state took the next logical step and imposed a three-year moratorium on high-stakes MCAS testing going forward.

Why? Standardized exams like the MCAS are very good at measuring family wealth, access and privilege.   → Read More

CPS Statement on MA Legislature’s Vote to Cancel MCAS

CPS welcomes the votes by the Massachusetts Senate and House to cancel MCAS this year. Now we urge Governor Baker to sign this legislation so our educators, students and families can focus on the many challenges and priorities they face during the COVID-19 crisis. There is so much work still to do to address our state’s stark inequities in families’ access to food and housing, mental and physical health care and income for the many who are newly unemployed.

We know that legislators and Commissioner Riley heard from hundreds of public education advocates who wrote and called to urge Massachusetts to join with so many other states that have already made a similar decision. We are grateful that so many people took the time to speak out under these challenging circumstances. We hope Governor Baker acts quickly to waive the MCAS test requirement this year for the sake of our students.   → Read More

Action Alert Part 2: Make Calls to Suspend MCAS 2020

It’s time to call your State Representative, Senator and Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and tell them to Suspend MCAS 2020. During this global health crisis, we need to prioritize students’ and families’ physical and emotional well being, not testing. Click on this Action Network link for phone numbers for your legislators and Education Commissioner Riley.   → Read More