Winter 2011-12 Backpack

The Backpack / Winter 2011-12 Edition

In this issue:

* Somerville Families Unite to Resist Planned Charter
* Learn about the MCAS Appeals Bill
* New Faces Brought Energy, Ideas to CPS Fall Issues Conference
* Policies Don’t Teach Kids; People Do
* CPS in Action
* The Backpack Needs You!

Welcome to the Winter 2011-12 edition of the Backpack, with exciting news from Somerville, where the community is coming together to support district schools that include everyone and serve them well, and to resist a planned charter that threatens to divide the community. We report on an important bill to improve the MCAS appeals process and what you can do to support it. We’re still processing and planning to move ahead on all the great ideas that came out of our Fall Issues Conference. Read our report and see Larry Aaronson’s wonderful photos of the event.

We’re proud to include a piece called “Policies Don’t Teach Kids; People Do,” the text of a moving and powerful speech by Jim McDermott, who recently stepped down from the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Then we have a wrap-up of some of the many actions and events CPS has been involved in since our last edition.

Finally, we want to invite our readers and their friends to get involved in creating news for our next edition. Be sure to read through to the final piece of this newsletter, which asks for your experiences and ideas for an important story we want to write and include next time.

As always, we welcome any and all feedback and ideas from our readers. And don’t forget to pass the Backpack along to your friends and family. Note: Unless otherwise noted, all articles represent the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of the organization.


Lisa Guisbond and Jacqueline King are co-editors of The Backpack and CPS Board Members. Thanks to the outstanding contributions of Backpack editorial committee–Paul Dunphy, Jonathan King, and Ann O’Halloran.