Massachusetts

Massachusetts's Opportunity Gap

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From Springfield to Fitchburg, from Lynn to Boston, Massachusetts is full of passionate advocates and organizers working to improve their state's public education system. At a recent organizing event for MA OTL groups, allies mapped out the education organizing landscape in the Commonwealth (at right), and coordinated their campaigns on fair funding, school discipline and supports-based reforms. Read about the event here!

 

In mid-July, the Massachusetts-based Student Immigrant Movement led hundreds of students and allies in the fight for in-state tuition for undocumented students during a hearing before the state's Joint Committee on Education.

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Graduating high school doesn't always mean that students are ready for college. To address this fact, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy has released a new policy brief that provides one concrete way to help prepare students: early college programming in high schools.

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Last week parents, students, teachers and community members across Massachusetts took part in a statewide week of action against the overuse of high stakes, standardized testing. The events were organized by the newly formed Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance and their local partner, the Boston Education Justice Alliance.

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The newly formed Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) will be leading a week of action across the state in early June. Comprised of grassroots community groups and labor organizations across the state, MEJA is working with their local affiliate, the Boston Education Justice Alliance, to take a stand against the overuse of standardized testing and to fight for student and teacher rights.

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The Boston Student Advisory Council released a first-of-its-kind website and phone app this week that is a great tool for empowering the city's students and ensuring the district respects their rights, particularly as they relate to school discipline.

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Report
Carol Miller Lieber Educators for Social Responsibility, Jul 2014
Personal Opportunity Plans: Conditions and Considerations for Effective Development and Implementation of Personal Opportunity Plans by the Commonwealth, Districts, and Schools Click here to download the 3-page Executive Summary. This report contributes to the movement to shift from standards-based to supports-based reform that provides necessary resources so that every student has the opportunity to learn, succeed in school, and craft a productive future with the support of counselors, teachers, and personal advocates.  
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Data
Annie E. Casey Foundation, Jul 2013
The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the Data Book ranks states in four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.
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Report
Citizens for Public Schools, Jun 2013
20 years after Massachusetts (often lauded as a leader in education policy) passed the Education Reform Act of 1993, Citizens for Public Schools, an OTL ally, took a long hard look at the results of that law to find the state still has a ways to go toward ensure equity and opportunity for all Massachusetts students. [Executive summary available below. Download the full report here.]
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