Massachusetts

MA Considers School Discipline Reform

In response to organizing by groups like MA ACLU and Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, policymakers in Massachusetts are considering steps to reform school discipline policies across the state. 

In response to organizing by groups like MA ACLU and Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, policymakers in Massachusetts are considering steps to reform school discipline policies across the state. Of particular concern to advocates is curbing harsh and descriminatory discipline policies that push students out of the classroom and increase the likelihood they will end up in the criminal justice system. 

 

National Report Card: Is School Funding Fair?

Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage - and provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems.

Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair?

Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card (Second Edition)

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2012-06-22
Author: 
Education Law Center
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

The Second Edition of the National Report Card on public school funding, Is School Funding Fair?, shows that far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to meet the needs of the nation's 53 million students and to boost academic achievement. The National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage. The Report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems and school funding fairness across the nation. How does your state measure up? 

Open Letter to Stand for Children From MA Organizations

Community advocacy groups across Massachusetts are taking a stand against Stand for Children, a formerly-grassroots group that has forsaken its community roots and begun trumpeting the pro-corporate education agenda of new big-money donors. In an open letter to Stand for Children, the MA community groups advocate for more student, parent and teacher voices in the education debate and condemn Stand for Children for ignoring those voices. 

The following is an open letter from numerous community groups across Massachusetts to Stand for Children, a formerly-grassroots group that has forsaken its community roots and begun trumpeting the pro-corporate education agenda of new big-money donors. Each of the groups signing on to this letter knows that the education reform debate must include the voices of those closest to the issues at hand: students, parents and teachers.

BYOP: "Rhee-Action"

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2012-06-01

About 100 protesters from the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project, Alliance for Education Justice and the National Campaign for Quality Education  held a "Rhee-Action" protest in November 2011 outside of a Michelle Rhee speaking engagement in Boston. The former superintendent of education in Washington, D.C., recommended implementing her education "reform" plan in Boston's public school system. The students, teachers and local organizers protesting made it clear they did not support Rhee's reforms and that her advice was unwelcomed in the debate over Boston's schools. 

Check out the video below! And click here to read more about the event in The Daily Free Press

About 100 protesters from the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project, Alliance for Education Justice and the National Campaign for Quality Education  held a "Rhee-Action" protest in November 2011 outside of a Michelle Rhee speaking engagement in Boston. The former superintendent of education in Washington, D.C., recommended implementing her education "reform" plan in Boston's public school system.

Former Grassroots Group Succumbs to Corporate Donors

In a powerful open letter, former members of Stand for Children condemn the organization's transformation from a true grassroots community group into a front organization through which corporate interests can push for the privatization of public education.

In a powerful open letter, former members of Stand for Children's Massachusetts's branch condemn the organization's transformation from a true grassroots community group into a front organization through which corporate interests can push for the privatization of public education.

VOYCE Wants Student Input in Teacher Evaluations

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2012-04-27

In late March 2012, Massachusetts student advocates from Youth On Board and the Boston Student Advisory Council joined up with Chicago student advocates from Voices of Youth in Chicago Education at a press conference to push for the inclusion of student input in teacher evaluations in Chicago public schools. The MA students won their voice in teacher evaluations in June 2011. In April 2012, the Chicago public schools announced its new teacher evaluation system will include a pilot program for student feedback. The two groups of students connected at the 2011 National Opportunity to Learn Summit in Washington, D.C. 

Chicago Students Win Voice in Teacher Evaluations

Let's hear it for the student advocates in Chicago fighting for student input in teacher evaluations! Thanks to the advocacy efforts of groups likes Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), the Chicago Public Schools announced that its new teacher evaluation system will include a pilot of student feedback at all CPS high schools. 

At the National OTL Summit in December, youth representatives from Boston and Chicago connected and discovered that they were working on similar campaigns to make student input a part of teacher evaluations. The Boston Student Advisory Council, working with groups like Youth on Board and Boston Youth Organizing Project, won their battle last summer and we featured their success on our blog.

Exclusionary Zoning Denies Poor Access to Quality Schools

New Study: It costs almost $11,000 more per year to live near high-quality schools than low-quality schools. This "housing cost gap," which is the result of exclusionary zoning policies, means that low-income students are less likely to attend good schools, thereby denying them access to the educational opportunities they need to succeed and escape poverty. 

It's a big week for studies focused the relationship between location and educational opportunity: First, the Schott Foundation's report on education redlining in New York City public schools that revealed city policies and practices systematically deny educational opportunities to the districts and schools with high percentages of poor and students of color.

2020 Vision Roadmap: A Pre-K Through Postsecondary Roadmap for Educational Success

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2012-04-11
Author: 
National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
Type: 
policy
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

In 2010, the President set a goal for the U.S. to become the global leader in postsecondary degree attainment by the year 2020. Yet, more than 7,000 students, many of whom are not proficient in reading and math, are leaving or being pushed out of U.S. schools each day. This study shows that the U.S. cannot achieve the President’s 2020 goal if our schools continue to hemorrhage large segments of our nation’s youth. Accordingly, this document is designed to serve as a blueprint for implementing a comprehensive package of policy reforms that seek to increase the quantity of students who succeed at every stage of the educational pipeline and the quality of the education they receive. Different from most calls for reform, it considers the educational pipeline in its entirety—from early childhood through postsecondary attainment—and offers evidence‐informed strategies to boost access, quantity and quality at every stage.

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