GOLD down. Pride up. Testing out.
Thanks to the many members who participated in our telephone town hall on testing last Wednesday. Your enthusiasm helped launch MTA's participation in this week's Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance Week of Action for Less Testing, More Learning.
Week of Action Takes Off
Click here for a link to details on activities for MTA members and check out MTA social media sites for images and updates from the week's events. The following is a summary:
- Wear stickers (all week, but especially on 6/8).
- Call or meet with your legislators (all week, with a big push on 6/9).
- Speak out at the PARCC forum at Bridgewater State University (6/10) and post Less Testing, More Learning messages on social media (all week, with a big push on 6/10).
- Testify at or attend the State House hearing on testing (10 a.m. on 6/11). If you can testify, please contact MTA lobbyist Kate Donaghey at KDonaghey@massteacher.org.
Please go here to post information about any events happening in your community and to learn more about events already scheduled. For exciting news about what some MTA members have already done locally, go here to learn about Worcester and here to learn about Cambridge. Our students are more than a score!
Join the MTA in Celebrating "Pride"
Please join me at the Boston Pride Parade on Saturday, June 13. We will march behind the MTA banner to tell the world that Massachusetts educators stand 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. This promises to be a joyful and inspiring event. Hope to see you there.
Stand Up for Adjunct Faculty on June 17
Adjunct faculty members have low pay, no job security and few benefits. Click here for an article that describes some of the problems in clear and compelling terms. Adjuncts hold advanced degrees, are experienced educators and contribute to the advancement of their discipline through writing and presentations. It's a disgrace how badly they are treated. Come to a Joint Committee on Higher Education hearing at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 17, in Room A-2 at the State House to show your support for H. 1055, An Act to Invest in Higher Education Faculty. This MTA priority bill would, among other things, allow adjuncts to be eligible for the same health care and pension benefits as tenure-track faculty members based on a cumulative workload at public higher education institutions.
TS GOLD Update
Your concerns about the TS GOLD kindergarten assessment mandate are being heard. The Department of Early Education and Care informed school districts last week of alternatives that are being offered in 2015-16 to the full TS GOLD and Work Sampling System assessments. The alternatives would reduce - but not eliminate - the mandate. This is a step in the right direction, but doesn't go far enough. The MTA is pushing the state to eliminate the mandate. Period. As we are telling state education officials: "Let kindergarten teachers do what they do best: teach." Go here to the "MTA Locals Speak Out" section for information on the DEEC alternatives and MTA's response. We will provide you with more information about advocacy and bargaining options as this issue unfolds.
In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,