Another whirlwind week with highs and lows — and more member action is needed over the next 10 days!
Circumstances are changing rapidly. New CDC guidance recommending three feet rather than six feet of distancing in schools is expected tomorrow. The state is phasing in a full-time return to schools starting April 5 — knowing full well that is before most preK-12 educators will be fully vaccinated. The Baker administration is still refusing to extend vaccine eligibility to higher education employees who are working in person. COVID-19 case numbers are rising in Massachusetts, alongside the arrival of new variants. And it’s full steam ahead on MCAS from the state and federal governments.
We are pushing forward to keep our communities safe. Our main campaign is to get the state to delay phasing in a full return to school until on or after April 26. Here is what you can do over the next 10 days.
Sign and Promote the #BackWithTheVax Petition
Go here to sign our petition, then share it with your co-workers, family, friends and education advocates who are concerned about schools being ready and safe. Our goal is to get 10,000 signatures. Help “frame” this message with your profile picture on Facebook. Get your own #BackWithTheVax or #SafeRestart frame and start posting the message today.
Join an Upcoming Event
Friday, March 19, Northampton: Join a #CancelMCAS standout at the corner of Main and King streets from 3 to 5 p.m., hosted by the Northampton Association of School Employees.
Saturday, March 20, Bourne: Join a caravan and standout at the Bourne Bridge Rotary. Meet at New Bedford High School at 9 a.m. and hold signs at the rotary at 10 a.m.
Thursday, March 25, Malden: Participate in a Sit In for Our Schools in front of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s headquarters at 3:30 p.m.
Friday, March 26, Braintree: Members of the Braintree Education Association — who recently voted “no confidence” in their school leadership — will be walking into school together to express their opposition to the district’s reopening plan.
Friday, March 26, Central: In the MTA’s Central Region, all members are invited to wear red and change online backgrounds to the #BackWithTheVax image.
Ask Your School Committee to Support #CancelMCAS
The MTA is partnering with Citizens for Public Schools to ask school committees to pass a resolution against high-stakes testing this year. Here are the school committees that have already voted. (Thank them! Let your local newspaper know why taking this step was so important for students.) Here is a link to send a message to local school committee members who haven’t acted yet.
We are also reminding parents of their right to opt their children out of these tests. Here is a lot of information on opting out. The MTA also will be posting opt-out information in several languages soon. The opt-out movement will be even more powerful this year if school committees and administrators join us in informing parents of their opt-out rights. Include that “ask” in your discussions with them and we can really show the state what educators and parents alike think of top-down testing mandates this year.