AFT MA President Tom Gosnell on “NightSide” w/ Dan Rea

on WBZ AM 1030 September 29 @ 8:00 pm – 11:55 pm
WBZ AM 1030, Boston, MA

Hello All – On Thursday, September 29 at 8 pm I shall be on the Dan Rea show, WBZ 1030 am on the dial, regarding Question 2, the attempt to increase the number of charter schools. Former Rep. Marty Walz will represent the other side. I suspect the exchange will be quite robust. Call in questions are welcome. Call in to participate in the conversation about Question2 and other vital issues. 617.254.1030

You Can Help!

Stand-Out We invite any/all members to come stand out with us at the intersection of the 99 Restaurant and Cross Point (Chelmsford St. and Industrial Ave.) on Wednesday, September 21st, this week at 4:30 PM to hold logo-no-on-2 signs as we continue to mobilize for theNovember 8th election day Question #2! This is a very, very busy intersection and the more people we have, the better!  Voting no on question 2 means the current cap on charters will remain. It does not impact any existing charter schools. Please help us defeat this ballot initiative so that DESE is not allowed to approve 12 new charters every year forever!  We will have our usual weekly Phone Banking at the UTL office on Thursday at 5 PM. On Saturday this week at 4PM we will begin canvassing in the Reilly School neighborhood!  Staff at Reilly and Sullivan

Lawmakers hear call for standardized-testing moratorium

BOSTON — High-stakes high school testing came under fire Tuesday as teachers, parents and a slew of lawmakers
spoke out in favor of suspending the use of standardized testing as a graduation requirement, voicing concern over
a “testing culture” that puts undue pressure on students with minimal reward.
The Baker administration faces a decision later this year on whether to scrap the long-running MCAS exam in
favor of a new test — the PARCC exam — tied to the national Common Core curriculum standards. Some school
districts over the past two years, have been piloting the new exam, which education officials say will offer a better
gauge of preparedness for college.
Dozens of House and Senate lawmakers from both parties, however, have signed on to legislation that would
impose a three-year moratorium on the implementation of the PARCC exam, and suspend the use of MCAS results
as a graduation requirement or in evaluating teachers, schools and districts.
Rep. Marjorie Decker, the sponsor of the main testing reform bill (H 340), said students are being put under
extreme pressure to pass a standardized test that has not proven it can improve performance of students in lowincome
districts or prepare them for college.
The Cambridge Democrat, along with 53 House and Senate lawmakers who co-sponsored the bill, are calling for
the state to “take a deep breath” and set up a new Education Reform Review Task Force to evaluate the use of
mandatory students assessments.
Saying that she “bombed” every standardized test she took in school, Decker said, “I didn’t experience success until I was in college when standardized testing was no longer the measure of whether I was smart.”

The Joint Committee on Higher Education was forced to relocate its hearing to the larger Gardner Auditorium after hundreds of teachers, parents and advocates showed up to testify or listen. Many in attendance wore stickers that read: “Less testing; More Learning.”

Some teachers testified against the bill, arguing that standardized tests have been an effective motivator for students, helping to teach them perseverance when they encounter struggles knowing that they must overcome those challenges in order to graduate.

Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester also spoke out against the bills, calling them a “step backward” for Massachusetts that could jeopardize as much as $200 million in federal Title I funding to the state. Chester said if the bill passed the state’s current waiver from No Child Left Behind could be in jeopardy, either costing the state millions of federal dollars or flexibility in how they spend that funding.

Chester said Massachusetts’ resolve over the past 22 years to remain committed to the standards of the 1993 education reform law is one of the main reasons why student performance has gone from “strong to the strongest in the nation.”