Join us to celebrate these Unsung Heroes of Public Education

Save the date and join us on Thursday, December 14, at 7pm by Zoom for Citizens for Public Schools’ Annual Meeting. Help us honor and celebrate three groups of Unsung Heroes of Public Education: the New Bedford Coalition to Save Our Schools, the Concerned Educators of Color, and three extraordinary bloggers and podcasters – Jack Schneider, Jennifer Berkshire and Maurice Cunningham.

To register, learn more about our unsung heroes and see what’s on the agenda for our annual meeting, click here.   → Read More

The MCAS, Dropouts and Tortured Logic


Proponents of the MCAS graduation requirement have shared high school dropout data intended to show that the requirement is not a major obstacle to obtaining a diploma. However, they both omitted important data and erroneously interpreted other data. A clear-eyed review of a wider swath of evidence revealed a very different picture. This evidence indicated that (1) the graduation requirement has caused some historically underserved students to drop out; (2) students who failed the 10th grade MCAS were 17 times more likely to drop out than their peers who passed the exams; and (3) the dropout rate for students failing the MCAS has increased from 15 percent in 2015 to 18 percent in 2019.

Massachusetts goes to considerable expense and effort to collect data on MCAS results and dropout rates. Data can be used selectively to bolster or undermine a policy. So, what do the data actually show about the connection between the high-stakes MCAS and dropout rates?   → Read More

Come to a gala celebration of CPS’s 40+ years of education justice work!

Please register today and join us on Thursday, October 19, at 7pm (by Zoom), for a virtual party to celebrate more than 40 years of education justice work, to honor the many people who have been part of CPS, and to look ahead at our challenges and opportunities. Our special guest will be Congressman Jamaal Bowman, an educator and champion of education justice. Click on the button below to register and learn more about the event.

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CPS testimony supporting H.525: “An Act to ensure educational rights are upheld for incarcerated youth”

Testimony to the Joint Committee on Education in Support of H.515

June 6, 2023 

Dear Chair Garlick, Chair Lewis, and members of the Joint Committee on Education,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this testimony in support of “An Act to ensure educational rights are upheld for incarcerated youth” (H.515). I am Lisa Guisbond, Executive Director of Citizens for Public Schools, a statewide public education advocacy organization. CPS’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect public schools and public education. We also work to further education justice and to expose and dismantle barriers to educational opportunity and equity. 

On behalf of our Board of Directors, I am writing to enthusiastically support this bill’s goal of ensuring that youth, age 18-22, incarcerated in adult correctional facilities, have access to the educational services they need and to which they are legally entitled. This includes high school, special education, higher education and/or vocational education.    → Read More

CPS Releases New Report – High-stakes use of MCAS harms children. Facts support the “Thrive Act.”

The use of state MCAS scores for making critical decisions about students, schools, and school districts has had a harmful effect on all three. That’s the conclusion of a new report from Citizens for Public Schools and the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). 

The report is titled Lessons Learned: After 25 years of test-and-punish accountability, it’s time to end the misuse of tests and help all our students to thrive. It supports passage of the “Thrive Act” which aims to stop the damage and improve educational quality and equity for all Massachusetts students. The Thrive Act would keep MCAS testing but end the MCAS graduation requirement. It would also stop stake takeovers of local schools and districts based on scores. 

“Children are being harmed by the misguided use of MCAS standardized test scores as a barrier to graduation and a bludgeon against schools and districts that educate our most vulnerable students,” said Lisa Guisbond, one of the report authors and executive director of Citizens for Public Schools.   → Read More