CPS Joins Coalition Urging Massachusetts Education Officials to Reconsider Controversial Gates Foundation Partnership

Today, Citizens for Public Schools, along with the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts PTA, and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) sent a letter demanding that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reconsider a controversial plan to share confidential student data with the Gates Foundation’s Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC). To read a press release (with a link to the text of the letter), click here.   → Read More

CPS Stands with Seattle’s Garfield High School Teachers

CPS Supports Seattle’s Garfield High Teachers: “Test Boycott is Courageous Stand for Students, Against Test Abuse”

We, the members of Citizens for Public Schools, stand with the teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle for their courageous move to boycott district-mandated Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests. We respect the Garfield teachers for saying no to the escalating use and abuse of damaging high-stakes standardized testing. For those new teachers who are barley starting next year, it would be a great idea for them to watch this video enhanced professional development program.

We believe it took great courage for them to stand up for the best interests of their students, risking their livelihoods, in the face of tremendous pressure to comply with ever greater and more onerous testing mandates. The teachers are correct to stand firm against testing policies that waste valuable time, money and energy on these flawed measures of student learning.   → Read More

“Democracy at Risk” Panel Packed the House, Sparked Discussion

Panelists Jessica Wender-Shubow, Deborah Meier, Jim McDermott and moderator Ruth Kaplan at Monday's event. Photo by George Abbott White

A full to overflowing house of Citizens for Public Schools members and friends heard a strong and eloquent panel address the question “Is Education for Democracy at Risk?” at the Brookline Public Library on Dec. 3. Thanks to our fine speakers and moderator for their contributions: Deborah Meier, MacArthur Fellow, educator and author of In Schools We Trust; James McDermott of Clark University, urban teacher educator, former Massachusetts Teacher of the Teacher and former member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE); Jessica Wender-Shubow, President, Brookline Educators Union; and Ruth Kaplan, former Brookline School Committee member and current member of the Massachusetts BESE. And thanks to all those who came for their interest and support. The event was in honor of the late Sumner Z. Kaplan, the first in a series of lectures to honor our friend and former member of the CPS Board of Directors.   → Read More

Kozol Raised the Roof at Memorial Church

Jonathan Kozol, Wednesday, Sept. 19 at Memorial Church. (Photo by Larry Aaronson)

Heartfelt thanks to Jonathan Kozol, from me and everyone at Citizens for Public Schools, for his fiery and mesmerizing words Wednesday night at Memorial Church. He had the crowd of 800 in the palm of his hand. Now we just have to get them all up and active so we change things for all the Pineapples in the world.

Watch for the next CPS Backpack for more photos and a report on Jonathan’s wonderful talk.–Lisa Guisbond

   → Read More

CPS Presents Jonathan Kozol in Cambridge, Sept. 19

Jonathan Kozol

“Fire in the Ashes: Public Schools Under Siege — Victims and Survivors”

Come to the CPS 30th Anniversary Mary Ann Hardenbergh Lecture with Jonathan Kozol, author of Letters to a Young Teacher, The Shame of the Nation, Savage Inequalities and many other books, beginning with Death at an Early Age in 1967.

We’re excited to host this inspirational author on September 19, 2012, 7:30 p.m., at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard, Cambridge. His new book, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America, will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

Note: Online registration for this event is closed, but tickets will be available at the door.   → Read More