Our Focus

Achievement Gap

• If Massachusetts is going to succeed in narrowing or closing gaps in opportunity to learn, achievement, and access to career and life success, we must take a much broader view of the problems that contribute to achievement gaps and then devote sufficient resources to address them. Click here to read more.

Whole Child Education

Citizens for Public Schools believes that most parents want and expect schools to educate the whole child. Parents expect schools to do more than prepare their kids to take tests in a few academic subjects.

• We believe that Massachusetts public schools can and should provide a well-rounded education and meet the needs of the whole child, for every child, no matter their ZIP code.

• We support schools that value the dignity and worth of children and teachers, schools that succeed by meeting students’ individual needs.

• We believe social and emotional development are as important as academics.

• We think schools should nurture important qualities that tests don’t currently measure: creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and diligence.

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High-Stakes Testing

Citizens for Public Schools believes that we need to reform our state assessment and accountability system to include local classroom-based assessments combined with limited state-wide assessments to provide multiple sources of evidence of student learning and progress. These, together with an accreditation process, would eliminate the goal distortion and narrowing that has resulted from the current system and ensure a balanced and comprehensive accountability system that addresses the full range of academic and other 21st century skills.

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Charter Schools

Citizens for Public Schools believes that allowing or promoting more charter schools in Massachusetts would drain desperately needed resources from traditional public schools, which continue to serve our neediest students and families. Rather than focus attention and resources on schools that serve just 4% of our students, let’s focus resources and support on the schools that serve the vast majority of all students: rich and poor, black and white, typical and disabled, English speakers and English language learners. We need an independent study of Commonwealth charters and we need to fix the funding mechanism for charter schools.

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Boston Public Schools

The pattern in other cities has been district school closures and charters opened in their place. The public records documents confirm this is the plan for Boston too. What we will be left with is low-income communities of color like Hyde Park (which already had two school closed this year) having nothing but charters, with the high needs students with disabilities and English language learners sent to an increasingly under-resourced district school.

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School Funding

More money alone is not a panacea, but money, when adequate for the task and used well, is clearly necessary and linked to higher achievement, especially for children who have barriers to learning and are underachieving. District schools serving the vast majority of students with the greatest needs should be ensured adequate funding to address these needs, not required to compete with charter schools for basic funding.

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Science Education

We need to invest in more extensive science and technology education in our high schools: well-trained teachers, laboratory facilities, budgets for projects, field trips and science fairs. These would be a far better use of public resources than purchasing standardized tests and test services from private vendors.

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