Organizing to Resist the Assault on Public Education

Greetings,

Yes, more snow is expected!
Yes, the Pats won the Super Bowl!
Yes, we continue to organize and resist the corporate assault on public schools and public education unions!

Communities Working Together

In Holyoke, parents and educators spoke out at a City Council meeting about the potential state takeover of the city's public schools. The result was a unanimous vote by the council to oppose any such move. Click here to read the story.

In Leominster, the City Council voted to oppose the proposed Academy for the Whole Child Charter School, which would be based in Fitchburg. Click here to read about the vote.

Securing Justice in Our Communities

If we are to reclaim our schools, we need to secure economic and racial justice in our communities. This teacher writes about her firsthand understanding of how poverty affects the children in our classrooms.

True Distractions

Of course, the so-called reformers tell us that poverty cannot be an excuse. They perpetuate the notion that naming economic injustice is a distraction, when we know that testing madness and attacks on our unions are actually the distractions they create to hide growing economic injustice. This article speaks to other myths of corporate education reform.

What Can We Do? Speak Up!

Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is underway in Congress. Please let your legislators in the House and Senate know that we want less testing and more opportunities for learning - and that states should be held accountable for giving all children the schools they deserve. Click here and stay alert for more information about contacting your legislators.

The Foundation Budget Review Commission continues to hold hearings around the state. On Saturday, Feb. 7, commissioners will meet at 11 a.m. at the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School Auditorium, 210 Station Ave., South Yarmouth. Consider attending and telling your stories. Let the commission know what educators need in order to give children the schools they deserve. Click here for more information on the job of the commission.

The state Senate's listening tour, Commonwealth Conversations, will continue on Feb. 11 with a stop in Worcester. Click here for a list of times, dates and locations. More will be added as they become available. The tour presents an excellent opportunity to let your senator know that our young people need much more to look forward to than standardized testing in grades preK-12 and then debt when they move on to higher education. There was a great turnout at the conversation this week in Holyoke. Let's keep the messages coming.

Book and Author Event

We can learn a lot from our union sisters and brothers. Joe Burns, a veteran union negotiator, labor lawyer and former local union president, will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at SEIU Local 888, 52 Roland St., Charlestown.

Burns is the author of "Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America" and "Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor's Past to Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today." Please respond by e-mail to rand.wilson@gmail.com or call 617.949.9720. The SEIU building is a four-minute walk from the MBTA's Sullivan Square stop on the Orange Line.

'Virtual School' for Toddlers

And now, just when you thought things couldn't get any more absurd, here comes online preschool for toddlers. Click here for the story.

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

Barbara