Bill filing underway; bargaining summit on Feb. 7

Greetings,

I hope you are staying warm and healthy in this gray month of January. As always, there's a lot going on.

MTA's Legislative Agenda

The MTA has an ambitious legislative agenda for the session now underway. Among other bills, we support legislation to impose a three-year moratorium on high-stakes testing and another for a three-year moratorium on new Commonwealth charter schools. Globe columnist Joanna Weiss wrote about our testing initiative this week. Please spread the word, speak out and write your own comments on our Facebook page - or your own. Public education and coalition-building are big parts of our campaign to reclaim public education.

Sign up NOW for Bargaining Summit on Feb. 7

Local leaders are invited to pull together teams of three or more members to come to an MTA Bargaining Summit on Saturday, Feb. 7. If you want to participate, ask your association president to form a team and sign up at massteacher.org/summit. This event will feature successful organizers from Chicago, St. Paul and Portland. Topics will include:

  • Building school-site organizing structures that work
  • Forging alliances that strengthen union power
  • Bringing big issues that members care about to the bargaining table

Foundation Budget Review Coming to Nashoba

The next Foundation Budget Review Commission hearing on what resources are needed to give students the schools they deserve will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, in the auditorium at Nashoba Regional High School, 12 Green Road, Bolton. Click here for more information and here for guidance on preparing testimony.

The Kindergartens Our Children Deserve

As mentioned last week, MTA members are fighting back against the new Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment (MKEA), generally administered as TS GOLD. Updated information is being posted in our toolkit. Along with more assessments, the push for more "rigor" in kindergarten is leading to practices that are developmentally inappropriate. Click here for a report on this issue by Nancy Carlsson-Paige and other early education experts.

Educators can share their views on kindergarten standards and the MKEA at two Department of Early Education and Care hearings, on Jan. 22 and 23, or by submitting public comments. Click here for details.

NEA President Speaking at Harvard about Future of Unionism

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García is coming to the Harvard Graduate School of Education at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 28, to participate in a forum titled "Is There a Future for American Teacher Unionism?" Click here for more information on this free event. Come hear what the panelists have to say and share your thoughts on how organizing will make our union stronger.

In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,

Barbara