Rallies, Photos, Phone Calls, Action!

Greetings,

MTA members have been doing a great job getting the message out about charter schools during this Week of Action. If you haven't participated yet, it's not too late. One way to show solidarity and spread the word has been repeated across the state: Educators gathered together, wearing their stickers and taking a selfie, then posting the photo with a message. Also, please check out the new Save Our Public Schools website and share the campaign's animated video in favor of #keepthecap.

Pride March

MTA members and supporters are invited to march behind the MTA banner with me at Boston Pride on Saturday. It means so much to have educators actively supporting the LGBTQ community. The assigned spot for the MTA delegation is Station E25, which is located at Fairfield Street near the corner of Boylston Street. Please plan to be there by 11:40 a.m. The parade begins at noon. Wear pink in solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

Calls Still Needed on Budget Amendments

Local and chapter presidents have been asked to forward to their members e-mails with phone numbers that will patch you through to legislators on three big issues: Ditching DDMs, better funding for higher ed, and protecting retiree health insurance. Be sure to keep an eye out for that e-mail and make those calls. We will contact you in the near future about other ways you can make a difference on these issues.

More on DDMs on Beacon Hill and in Malden

We are organizing a legislative briefing on DDMs for June 16 at 10 a.m. in Room 222 at the State House. Plans are also in the works for MTA and AFT Massachusetts to present our views on DDMs and the test-based "student impact rating" at the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Monday, June 27. If this is confirmed, we will send you details next week.

FSU Mobilizing to Support Instructors

Nearly 400 non-tenure track faculty members at UMass Boston were notified that they may not be back to teach in the fall. The Faculty Staff Union and its allies in other unions on campus are mobilizing rallies and events to let the public - and state leaders - know how devastating such cuts would be to the mission of the university. The Boston Globe produced a thorough story worth checking out.

MTA Interviews Candidates

Ever wonder how the MTA decides which candidates to support for public office? An important part of the process is member-led Candidate Recommendation Committee interviews. If you would like to observe interviews of candidates in your region, let your local or chapter president know. The current interview schedule can be found here in the members' area of our website.

Save the Date for the SOS March in D.C.

It's time to march again! Save Our Schools is holding a march to support equitable funding for schools, racial justice, child-centered schooling, less testing and other progressive reforms in public education. The march will be on July 8. We are looking into the possibility of providing some buses for MTA members to go to Washington, D.C., for this event.

Stand for Children and Chester's Virtual Town Hall

In an e-mail to preK-12 members yesterday, we referenced a telephone town hall - which we'd heard about from members - that Commissioner Mitchell Chester was holding last night. From members' reports, we thought this would be an opportunity to tell the commissioner what we think about educator evaluations. But we were wrong! Instead, the commissioner was on the phone with Stand for Children, extolling the wonders of our Massachusetts Common Core standards. He then left the call so Stand for Children could directly advocate against the ballot question looking to end the Common Core. We are sorry for the mistake - but sorrier still that the commissioner continues to work with a group that supports high-stakes testing and charter schools, opposes educator unions, and is not interested in working to #DitchDDMs.

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

Barbara