Massachusetts

Thousands of Boston Students Walk-Out Against Budget Cuts

Over three thousand students staged a walk-out on Monday to protest impending budget cuts to Boston Public Schools. Students marched downtown, through Boston Common, and rallied at the state house in an inspiring display of student power.

Over three thousand students staged a walk-out on Monday to protest impending budget cuts to Boston Public Schools. Students marched downtown, through Boston Common, and rallied at the state house in an inspiring display of student power:

Student rights? There's an app for that.

Schott's Senior Vice President of National Partnerships, Cassie Schwerner, was so impressed with Youth on Board’s new Boston Student Rights app – the first of its kind in the country – she decided to talk with staff and student leaders to learn more about it. Here, she chats with Carlos Rojas, Education Policy Organizer for Youth on Board (YOB).

CASSIE SCHWERNER: Why did young people, youth organizers, in the Boston area feel the need to create the Boston Student Rights app?

CARLOS ROJAS: Young people of color, trans youth and others are being criminalized and pushed out of schools. Did you see the video of the police officer in the South Carolina classroom? That sort of violence happens all over. We knew we needed a new organizing tool to help us reach young people in the schools – young people most affected by the school-to-prison-pipeline. But we also knew the tools we had used before, like palm cards and posters, were not practical for many of the situations young people find themselves in. We wanted something that could be immediately on hand when a young person was being confronted by figures of authority, something they would always have access to.

Schott's Senior Vice President of National Partnerships, Cassie Schwerner, was so impressed with Youth on Board’s new Boston Student Rights app – the first of its kind in the country – she decided to talk with staff and student leaders to learn more about it. Here, she chats with Carlos Rojas, Education Policy Organizer for Youth on Board (YOB).

CASSIE SCHWERNER: Why did young people, youth organizers, in the Boston area feel the need to create the Boston Student Rights app?

Boston #ReclaimOurSchools Walk-in

On February 17th, Boston parents, teachers, and students participated in nationwide walk-ins to #ReclaimOurSchools. Organized by the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, these walk-ins were a show of community support for public schools and a demand for fully funded, high-quality, and equitable education. 40,000 people participated in the walk-ins across the country, which took place in over 30 cities. Boston schools were on break, but there was still great turnout at the statehouse as hundreds rallied to protest proposed school budget cuts and raising the charter cap. Schools being closed gave Boston Public Schools (BPS) students an opportunity to participate, and they spoke eloquently about the problems facing their schools alongside their teachers and representatives from the Massachusetts Educational Justice Alliance (MEJA), who organized the event.

On February 17th, Boston parents, teachers, and students participated in nationwide walk-ins to #ReclaimOurSchools. Organized by the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, these walk-ins were a show of community support for public schools and a demand for fully funded, high-quality, and equitable education. 40,000 people participated in the walk-ins across the country, which took place in over 30 cities.

MA Charter School Fight Heats Up

Massachusetts is facing a lawsuit that will likely lead to lifting the state’s cap on charter schools, further depriving traditional public schools of funding by allowing a potentially unlimited number of charter schools to develop. To combat this plan, education advocates are trying to demonstrate how lifting the cap will hurt students. The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) is asking supporters to testify against the plan at a public hearing on Feb. 10th, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice intends to intervene on behalf of the students who would be most affected by this loss of funding: students learning English, students with disabilities, and students of color. These students are those charter schools typically “push out,” leaving traditional schools to unfairly teach the vast majority of students who require the most resources.

Massachusetts is facing a lawsuit that will likely lead to lifting the state’s cap on charter schools, further depriving traditional public schools of funding by allowing a potentially unlimited number of charter schools to develop. To combat this plan, education advocates are trying to demonstrate how lifting the cap will hurt students. The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) is asking supporters to testify against the plan at a public hearing on Feb.

Massachusetts Commission Proposes an Ambitious School Funding Plan

The Foundation Budget Review Commission, a bipartisan group of legislators and educators, released their findings on the state of education funding in Massachusetts and their recommendation for an ambitious new funding plan that would allow schools to more fully support programs to increase educational equity. While the plan would cost about half a billion dollars per year, it would also be the first step in addressing the substantial opportunity gap that exists in Massachusetts.

Roadmap to Expanding Opportunity Logo

MA Student Immigrant Movement Fights for In-State College Tuition

In mid-July, the Massachusetts-based Student Immigrant Movement led hundreds of students and allies in the fight for in-state tuition for undocumented students during a hearing before the state's Joint Committee on Education.

SIM students at hearingIn mid-July, the Massachusetts-based Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) led hundreds of students and allies in the fight for in-state tuition for undocumented students during a hearing before the state's Joint Committee on Education. SIM is a youth-led grassroots organization and they know how important college education can be.

How We Can Help More Students Be Ready for College

Graduating high school doesn't always mean that students are ready for college. To address this fact, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy has released a new policy brief that provides one concrete way to help prepare students: early college programming in high schools.

Roadmap to Expanding Opportunity LogoGraduating high school doesn't always mean that students are ready for college. To address this fact, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy has released a new policy brief that provides one concrete way to help prepare students: early college programming in high schools.

MA Week of Action Against High-Stakes Testing and for the "Schools We Deserve"

Last week parents, students, teachers and community members across Massachusetts took part in a statewide week of action against the overuse of high stakes, standardized testing. The events were organized by the newly formed Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance and their local partner, the Boston Education Justice Alliance.

Last week parents, students, teachers and community members across Massachusetts took part in a statewide week of action against the overuse of high stakes, standardized testing.

Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance To Host Week of Action

The newly formed Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) will be leading a week of action across the state in early June. Comprised of grassroots community groups and labor organizations across the state, MEJA is working with their local affiliate, the Boston Education Justice Alliance, to take a stand against the overuse of standardized testing and to fight for student and teacher rights.

BEJA LogoThe newly formed Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) will be leading a week of action across the state in early June.

Student rights? There's an app for that!

The Boston Student Advisory Council released a first-of-its-kind website and phone app this week that is a great tool for empowering the city's students and ensuring the district respects their rights, particularly as they relate to school discipline.


BSAC students and staff at the launch event.

The Boston Student Advisory Council released a first-of-its-kind website and phone app this week that is a great tool for empowering the city's students and ensuring the district respects their rights, particularly as they relate to school discipline.

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