Gearing Up for Less Testing/More Learning Campaign

Greetings,

The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance is building toward our Week of Action, which will be held June 8-12. During the Week of Action, we will:

  •  Draw attention to the devastating effects of high-stakes testing on schools, our students and educators.
  •  Call for legislators to support H. 340, which would institute a three-year moratorium on the high-stakes uses of testing and develop a task force to study how the focus on testing is changing our public schools.
  • Act in coalition with MTA and AFT locals, students and parents to claim our voice in public education.

Click here for more information, and please don't forget to save these dates:

Wednesday, June 3: Telephone town hall with MTA President Barbara Madeloni. If the MTA has your phone number, you should be called within a few minutes of 7 p.m. on June 3. Just pick up your phone to participate. If you prefer, or if you were anticipating a call but do not receive one, feel free to call in at 7:05 p.m. The toll-free number and access code follow:

  • Call-in number: 855.756.7520
  • Conference number (when prompted): 28823#

The town hall will give participants the chance to discuss the impact of high-stakes testing and Week of Action activities.

Monday, June 8: Sticker Day. The MTA will be providing stickers to local associations.

Tuesday, June 9: Call your Legislator Day.

Wednesday, June 10: Social Media Day and PARCC forum sponsored by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education at Bridgewater State University.

Thursday, June 11: Hearing at the State House on H. 340 and local/regional actions.

Friday, June 12: Union Solidarity Day.

Also, please keep an eye on MTA's Facebook page and Twitter feed, and watch for e-mails from me for further updates and more specific information.

Organizing Continues in Holyoke: Show Your Support

Our sisters and brothers in Holyoke participated on Wednesday in the first Local Stakeholder Group meeting to develop input into the state takeover plan. The MTA is working closely with the HTA and the community to make demands at LSG meetings in order to protect workplace rights and support the schools Holyoke deserves. You can find out more here.

Holyoke educators and the community need your support. If you are in Western Massachusetts, please consider coming to stakeholders' meetings to stand with educators and the community. If you cannot attend, please consider sending your legislators a letter stating your views on the undemocratic process of taking over a district.

Internship Opportunities at the MTA

Applications are being accepted for members who want to deepen their involvement in MTA's work by participating in the Regional Services Consultant Internship Program. This is a chance to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become a field representative or field consultant for the MTA. Please click on this link to find out more. Applications are due June 15.

Boston-area Educators for Social Justice Conference

If you live in the Boston area, please consider attending the Boston-area Educators for Social Justice Conference, where you can join educators, students and community members in talking about social justice education and the schools every student deserves. The conference will be held on Saturday, May 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Curley School, 493 Centre St., Jamaica Plain. More information is available here.

MTA Is Proud to March in Boston Pride Parade

I will be leading a contingent of MTA members marching in the Boston Pride Parade on Saturday, June 13. Join us, march behind our banner and tell the world that the MTA stands with the LGBTQ community in the fight for equal rights and protections.

We will meet at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. From there we will proceed to the spot where the organizers have placed us in the parade. This is a great opportunity to experience the joy of solidarity and make an important statement. See you there!

MTA Builds Alliance with Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Last week, I was fortunate to attend a conference sponsored by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. While I have been a member of the organization's Executive Committee since shortly after I took office, this conference provided an opportunity to get to know and speak with members of other unions. I will write more soon about what I learned - and offer my thoughts on building union alliances - but for now, here are a few takeaways:

  • Our union brothers and sisters are experiencing the same attacks on their workplace rights and the same degradation of union work that we are.
  • Unionists understand that we are at a particular moment in history in which we need to reimagine our work, grow strong coalitions and extend our fight to include all workers by banding together and sparking a broader social movement.
  • Unionists understand that just because this has not been standard practice before, it does not mean it can't happen now. We must make the seemingly impossible possible.

Central Labor Councils are an excellent space in which to begin conversations about our shared concerns and to grow coalitions.

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

Barbara