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!

 

"If we know that more Latino teachers means more Latino kids will finish school, go on to college and live to their fullest potential, then we are duty bound to hire more of them." This post is the third in a series featuring testimony from a recent hearing hosted by Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson on how Boston Public Schools can recruit, train and retain more teachers of color.

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According to a new report from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, 9 out of the 10 school systems in Massachusetts with the highest suspension rates are charter schools, with some of them suspending between 40 and 60 percent of their students often for minor misbehaviors like dress code violations or being tardy.

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Thanks to the hard work of youth organizers in Boston over the past year, starting next summer, Boston will launch a pilot program to offer discounted subway and bus passes to students and help make transportation to and from school more affordable.

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Want more after-school or summer programs in your district? Well here's what it would probably cost to make that happen. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center has released a policy brief outlining the costs of expanded learning opportunities and how we can make them available to each and every student.

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In this interconnected world all children, and particularly those who stand at the margins, need a diverse teaching force if they are going to be able to be competitive globally. I’m glad to report that a seemingly contentious hearing yielded a true partnership between Boston Public Schools, local community members, researchers, and myself and colleague City Councilor Ayanna Pressley to create and implement an accountability structure that ensures we recruit, support, and, most importantly, retain highly qualified teachers of color.

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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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