With the approach of spring, so too comes the annual ritual of our schools being transformed into testing warehouses. Today we are launching a campaign to replace the punitive, high-stakes, rank-and-shame accountability system.
Please check out the resources that can help you and your colleagues as you help pass the Thrive Act and seek a system that is grounded in authentic assessment that educates the whole child:
Access a resolution that you and your union colleagues can bring forward to the local school committee or school board.
Here is a template for holding a 10-minute meeting in your building and here are the talking points on opting out of state standardized tests and information for educators who become .
And please take a moment to email your local representative or senator about MTA’s core legislative priorities, which you can view at massteacher.org/legislation. Every legislator who considers themselves a friend of the MTA should sign on to these four bills and support our budget demands.
MTA Events and Solidarity Actions
Support your fellow educators! Check out this list of upcoming actions. Please add your own to this form. The more we show up for one another, the greater the power we generate for local and statewide campaigns.
All Member Meeting, March 21: Please hold the evening of March 21 for an all-member Zoom meeting in which we will update you on local campaigns, our legislative priorities around ending high-stakes testing and winning funding for K-12 and higher education, and the state of local contract campaigns.
Florida educators need your help
Our union siblings from the Florida Education Association have asked all NEA affiliates to help with their 3-7 Challenge. They are asking members across the country to make three calls and send seven emails to protect public schools from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ attacks on the freedom of Florida students to learn, and of educators to teach. Register to join the “Power Hour” of advocacy, which starts today at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom, and will happen at the same time in future weeks.
Professional Development: Professional Development Workshops focused on special education, multilingual learners, anti-bias education and more will be offered throughout the spring. All courses are free for MTA members. Registration for these courses will start at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, so set a reminder to ensure your spot. Please visit the “Learn with the MTA” webpage to learn more about these workshops.
More Opportunities to Sharpen Your Bargaining Skills: The MTA Bargaining Certificate program is designed to develop the skills and knowledge of beginner negotiators, while deepening and broadening the proficiency of seasoned negotiators. The certificate will also inspire contract action teams and rank-and-file members with strategies and tactics that build bargaining power. The Bargaining Certificate program consists of two core classes, Bargaining Foundations and Democratized Bargaining, as well as four elective workshops. All MTA members are encouraged to participate. Please register to participate in the program.
Negotiations Workshops: This spring the MTA is also offering negotiations workshops. All MTA members are welcome to attend, even if not participating in the Bargaining Certificate program. See session descriptions. Please register to attend any of these workshops.
2023 MTA ESP Conference: Registration is now open for the 2023 MTA ESP Conference which will be held Friday, March 31, through Saturday, April 1, in Plymouth. The early registration conference fee of $30 per person has been extended to March 10 and will be $45 thereafter. Please register now for this fun and educational gathering. Space is limited! The reduced rate deadline for the hotel also has been extended. The last day to secure discounted room rates at Hotel 1620 is now Friday, March 10. Book soon because rooms may sell out before that date.
Additional installments of Virtual Licensure Workshops are here! “The Basics for Provisional and Initial Licensure” will be held on Wednesday, March 15. This will cover the first steps toward licensure, making it appropriate for aspiring educators, ESPs and early career educators. “Acquiring and Renewing Your Professional License” will be held on Wednesday, March 29, and will focus on moving from an Initial to a Professional license and the Professional License renewal process. This workshop is meant for educators with three-plus years of employment. Both workshops will be from 4 - 5:30 p.m. Please register here.
MTA Summer Conference: The Training and Professional Learning division is requesting proposals for the 2023 MTA Summer Conference, which is scheduled for August 6 - 9 at UMass Amherst. Our conference provides an array of workshops related to union skills and leadership, instructional practice, racial and social justice, and other areas of professional interest. MTA’s Summer Conference attracts a variety of members from public schools and higher education including teachers, faculty, professional staff, ESPs and retirees. Whether you are a well-practiced facilitator or a novice, the MTA encourages you to submit your proposal. Presenters will receive a stipend in accordance with MTA policy. All proposals are due by March 26.
Board Vacancy - At-Large Ethnic Minority Executive Committee member
The seat on the MTA Executive Committee for an At-Large Ethnic Minority Executive Committee Member has become vacant, and the process is underway to fill that vacancy. Any active member of MTA is eligible to be a candidate for At-Large Ethnic Minority EC Member. Members may self-nominate to run for this seat by sending an email to MTAGovernance@massteacher.org, or via U.S. mail to Division of Governance, MTA, 2 Heritage Drive, 8th Floor, Quincy, MA 02171-2119. Nominations must be received no later than March 15, regardless of postmark. The vacancy shall be filled by election conducted among the delegates to the 2022 Annual Meeting, and the election period will be April 4 – May 3.
Here are two articles about higher education that are of interest. The first is about why the numbers of students majoring in English, and really all of the humanities,
And it is worth reading this terrific op-ed on the importance of debt-free public higher education by Brandi Perri, one of our newest higher ed faculty members, who started her career at a community college, and now teaches at Mass Bay Community College.
Max and Deb