It has been another exciting week of activism by MTA members. Here are some reports, and there will be more to come.
More #Keepthecap Resolutions Passing
The pace of local elected officials voting against lifting the cap is picking up, thanks to the activism of MTA members in a growing number of communities. Recent additions to the list include Bellingham, Brockton, Dennis, Malden, Monomoy, Somerville and Waltham. Support for a #keepthecap resolution is generally enthusiastic since school committees know firsthand how difficult it is to fund public schools when charters come to town. Keep up the good work. We are at more than 30 school committees and city councils now. Can we double the number before the end of the school year?
As we continue to gear up our campaign to #keepthecap, you will want to be informed about the real facts on charter schools. The Save Our Public Schools coalition - of which the MTA is a part - has created a new fact-based website here. Bookmark it. Share it. Educate.
Locals Walk In for Public Schools
Educators in schools in Framingham, Fall River, Hull and New Bedford all participated in Wednesday's "walk-in" events in support of public education. The walk-ins were part of a national day of activism to draw attention to the local, state and national issues we face, from funding the schools in Fall River to settling a contract in Hull, to promoting positive education initiatives such as keeping the cap on charters and less testing/more learning.
Where Did All That Testing Get Us?
After a decade of high-stakes testing as the promised solution to so-called "achievement gaps," what has actually happened? Even by the metrics of the education "reformers," high-stakes testing has been a failure. Read this Washington Post article in which FairTest's Monty Neill describes how test scores nationwide have been essentially flat - and the gaps among subgroups are as wide as ever.
Annual Meeting Next Week
At this writing, almost 1,800 delegates have signed up to attend this year's Annual Meeting of Delegates at the Hynes Convention Center on May 13 and 14. It is fantastic to see members engaged so actively in union democracy. MTA's Annual Meeting is one of the largest democratic decision-making bodies in the state. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Keep your eyes open for an e-mail from the Division of Grassroots Campaigns - if you haven't already received one - urging you to contact your senator about critical issues related to the fiscal 2017 budget. In addition, the MTA Candidate Recommendation Committee will soon be holding its Candidate Evaluation Team interviews with people running for seats in the Legislature. More information will follow. This is an important way for us to influence who represents us at the State House.
In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,