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!

 

The Boston Public Schools District has over 83% students of color, yet only 37% of its teachers are teachers of color. Building on the committment of district officials to cultivate teacher diversity, BPS must do more to achieve the goal of having a teaching force that reflects the students and citizens of Boston. 

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As part of its annual Condition of Education in the Commonwealth report, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy has outlined three ways Massachusetts can build on its already strong education system to better prepare students for school, support them while they're there, and help them make the transition to college or a career.

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"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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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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