Friday, November 21, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
In another resolution, MASC called on the state to rethink Common Core and PARCC and to "substantially involve educators and school committee members" in re-examining the state's evaluation and accountability system.
Several dinner meeting speakers blasted the current obsession with test scores. CPS presented a workshop on the Less Testing, More Learning campaign attended by more than 50 school committee members and superintendents.
Her position, oft-repeated in the born again education reform camp, is that “charter schools are doing more to close race and poverty-based achievement gaps than any other groups in the country.”
Such a pronouncement, typical fodder by those supporting for-profit outfits like SABIS School Network- with whom Shuttlesworth is affiliated — has arrived after their brand has suffered a setback. In this instance it was the Massachusetts General Court’s rejection of legislation to raise the statewide cap on charters.
Elected officials might, indeed, have cowered “in the face of entrenched resistance from teachers’ unions and the education establishment,”as Shuttleworth maintains. Or the track record of charters, including the squeezing out of high percentages of their recruits long before graduation, simply, was not credible in the eyes of lawmakers.
The rejection of the SABIS School Network by the city of Brockton, also, drew the ire of Shuttlesworth.
“…Despite the fact that Brockton doesn’t have a single charter and is among the lowest-performing districts in Massachusetts (the Brockton charter proposal) was again rejected,… (and) the opposition was led by, powerful, well-funded special interest groups.”
Who are the “education establishment” and the “powerful, well-funded special interest groups?” These culprits, according to Shuttlesworth, are blocking the schoolhouse doors to progress. No specific groups in her guest view are named besides teachers unions. And It is unlikely that a lifetime of sponsoring bake sales or paying union dues could ever trump the funding provided to private charter schools (like SABIS) from the Billionaire Boys Club of the Koch brothers, Eli Broad, Bill Gates, et al.
So what says the city of Brockton about why the SABIS Model was turned away?
In an article by Nancy Bloom on the Edushyster website entitled “Straight Outta Brockton,” she wrote: “Brockton is home to one of the best large, urban high schools in the country. People from all corners of this large city seemed to take pride in telling the board of education members that their school system is doing an extraordinary job of educating all of Brockton’s students, and that SABIS, which has made two previous attempts at establishing a charter here isn’t wanted or needed.”
Bloom went on to report that, “SABIS supporters at the hearing claimed bragging rights over their flagship school in Springfield, with its comparative high test scores. Like most charter schools, SABIS’ record on educating English Language Learners can not compare to Brockton’s. While 25 percent of students in Brockton are ELL, a mere 4 percent of students at the SABIS Springfield are learning English.”
Is Brockton, as Shuttlesworth alleges, a city among the lowest performing school districts in Massachusetts? According to the mantra of Shuttlesworth, the moral litmus test is “when confronting injustice, truth is supposed to be the best light.”
And truth be told, In 2014 Brockton's median student growth percentiles were above the state average for both math (52) and ELA (54).
So where does that leave Shuttlesworth and media shills like the Boston Globe, in referencing Brockton which stated in an editorial, “SABIS students in Springfield consistently outperform peers (read:ELL students) from similar backgrounds in their home districts.”
Globe editorial writer, Lawrence Harmon, sums up the next move succinctly.
“Charter school opponents are sure to go on the march now that they have tasted victory in Brockton. Expect to see a slew of anti-charter school bills introduced in the legislature.”
Whereupon, the legislators will either cower at the feet of teachers unions or understand the truth that charter schools do not measure up to the hype.
Bruce C. Ditata
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
We won because of our solidarity. This time solidarity was easy. DESE was going after all of us. Next time the attack might hit some members earlier and harder than it hits others, and some members might think they can escape. As a union, we have to support each other and not let them pick off the most vulnerable, whether the issue is charter schools, or Level 4 and 5 schools, or ESPs, or adjuncts.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2014
In addition to the emails, we are organizing a strong presence at the DESE “town halls” on this issue in Malden on Nov. 19 and Bridgewater on Nov. 20. For those who can, please join us to show our union strength and send a clear message to DESE about these plans: NONE OF THE ABOVE!
Sunday, November 9, 2014
All MTA members are invited to this year’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC) 35th Anniversary Conference. Standing on a Great Foundation is the theme of this year’s conference, which begins Friday, December 5th.
This year’s special honoree is Louise Gaskins, who was instrumental in establishing MTA’s Minority Affairs Committee — the forerunner of EMAC — as well as the Human and Civil Rights Council and MTA’s Minority Involvement Plan. Over the years, Gaskins became a leading spokesperson for minority affairs at the MTA, and she is still active today.
This will be a memorable 35th anniversary celebration!
DATE: Friday-Saturday, December 5-6, 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton Four Points, 1125 Boston Providence Turnpike, Norwood, MA
WHO CAN ATTEND: All MTA members are invited to this year’s EMAC Conference. Those attending the Just For New Teachers Conference are issued a special invitation. Members of the Student Education Association of Massachusetts (SEAM), are also invited to attend at no charge.
HOTEL RESERVATIONS: If you haven't booked your hotel room, please make your reservations immediately. The number of reduced rate rooms is limited and must be made by 5pm on Friday, November 14th. For more information,RESERVE HOTEL ROOM.
EVENT SUMMARY: Workshop descriptions, presenters, fees, and more.
MTA’s Just For New Teachers 13th Annual Conference presents the perfect opportunity to meet with fellow educators. This one-day conference, brought to you by MTA’s New Member Committee, will offer workshops on classroom management and instruction, teaching English language learners and legal basics.
New this year is a free interactive workshop, The Skin that We Speak: Exploring Culture and Language in the Classroom and Beyond, presented by Beau Stubblefield-Tave, a principal in the Center for Cultural Fluency. This “bridge” workshop links the JFNT Conference to this year’s EMAC conference, which will celebrate the Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee’s 35th anniversary.
DATE: Friday, December 5, 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton Four Points, 1125 Boston Providence Turnpike, Norwood, MA
WHO CAN ATTEND: The Just for New Teachers Conference is open to MTA teachers in their first four years of practice. The fee is $65. Members of the Student Education Association of Massachusetts (SEAM), are invited to attend at no charge.
For more information, please visit http://massteacher.org/newteachers
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
The most important and influential people in any child's life, development and educational achievements are their parents, the child, and his or her teachers, from daycare through completion of elementary, middle, high school and institutions of higher learning.
One of the most noble profession in the world is that of a teacher.
My parents and I were always awed with esteem and reverence, that is often captured in those students who appreciate and respond to the dedication and sacrifices made often and daily by excellent teachers.
I urge you to pay close attention to the words and thoughts of your children regarding their teachers. You will see a practical and superior depth of experience that has made, and continues to make, a difference in the academic life and behavior of your child. I did.
All qualified teachers in any classroom can be the difference between the students' academic life or death, because the students' future depends so desperately on the quality of their education.
What is A Teacher?
A teacher is the hero and steward in our children's learning lives.
A teacher possesses the knowledge, technical skills, and the academic grace that we all love and admire.
A teacher cares for our children in every possible and imaginable way.
A teacher is the greatest symbol of education and learning.
A teacher is the leader for learners and an inspiration and miracle on the educational journey.
A teacher is our champion, and captain of our educational ship and journey to achievement and success.
A teacher must have courage, and the support of parents, school administration, community and elected school committee, and become all our heroic examples and inspirations.
If you are successful in any endeavor in life, always remember to thank your teachers, as they are responsible for educating us all with their skills and knowledge.
Teachers are smart with uplifted spirits, and teachers can make our brains work like computers, while holding students' hands and guiding them when they need it.
All parents in SouthCoast, especially New Bedford, please remember that teachers reach to the heavens, to get what your child needs, and exit a subject just at the right time.
Teachers are a class act and class struggle, in assisting in the liberation of students' minds, souls and spirits, by believing in our children, reaching out to students, and instilling pride and hope in all of us.
Education is important to all of our teachers.
Respect and support with pride our children's teachers, who struggle hard daily to teach each and every student, checking assignments and exams after school, explaining things so they are easier, reading to students or teaching students how to read.
We should thank them today, tomorrow and always for everything our teachers do.
Monday, November 3, 2014
What's another word for a person who tells "untruths"?