The following is testimony in support of the Education PROMISE Act (S.238/H.586), which aims to provide public schools the funding they need to deliver high-quality, equitable education across Massachusetts.
You would be hard-pressed to pick up a newspaper, scroll through an online media platform, or check social media without being bombarded with stories on the U.S. college admissions scandal. It’s been fodder for daytime and late-night television, grist for comedic satire, and a source of anger and frustration.
For millions of students who have gone out of their way to prove, often to a skeptical and disbelieving audience, that they earned their spot on campus, the scandal is a hard slap in the face. While some buy their way into college, others—especially students of color—have paid in blood, sweat, and tears.
You’ll find useful tips for using social media to gain support for a policy in a recent blog post by the Public Leadership Institute. The Institute’s constituency is primarily state and local elected leaders, but the suggestions of how to craft social media messages to persuade, not merely speak to your already committed base, are applicable to education justice organizations waging policy campaigns. The post is a concise summary of three communications “rules” designed to expand awareness to new audiences and “provide a persuasive bridge from their preconceptions to your policy solutions.” Well worth a read.
A new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that teacher strikes work and have led to substantial increases in K-12 school funding in states where strikes occurred "Despite last year’s improvements, however, formula funding remains well below 2008 levels" in Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia, states that made the deepest cuts over the last decade. Progress is still short of what's needed and funding mechanisms may be unsustainable.
This weekend, Our Voice Our Schools coalition is gathering a group of community practitioners and activists to come together at Denver University and align around a comprehensive agenda for education justice in Denver. The goal of the event: to move from 'talk' to action by creating a comprehensive Loving School System agenda that highlights the systemic changes and investments needed to truly provide Black children in Denver their right to free, high-quality public education.
Today, we have more information available than ever before to understand the state of our cities. An exciting new addition, the Loving Cities Index recently launched by the Schott Foundation, measures how well cities are doing at creating loving systems that provide children and families with the resources and supports they need to have the opportunity to learn and succeed. Schott researched 24 indicators of access to opportunities and disaggregated the data by race to examine differences across 10 cities.
Schott applauds California Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointment of Linda Darling-Hammond as president of the State Board of Education. In news that received far less attention than President Trump’s feud with the state over the rail system, this is certainly a big win for California students, parents and teachers. One of the chief architects of the multiple-measure learning assessment system, Linda brings a much-needed balanced approach of standards and supports to the state’s educational system.
It may be hard to distinguish in the current political climate where the line of decency is—but one thing is clear, Donald Trump, Jr.’s recent attack on teachers crossed it. At the president’s February 11 border wall rally in El Paso, Trump, Jr. stirred up the crowd:
When striking Los Angeles teachers won their demand to call for a halt to charter school expansions in California, they set off a domino effect, and now teachers in other large urban districts are making the same demand.
Unchecked charter school growth is also bleeding into 2020 election campaigns. Recently, New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait berated Democratic Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren for having opposed a ballot initiative in her home state in 2016 that would have raised a cap on the number of charter schools. “There may be no state in America that can more clearly showcase the clear success of charter schools than [Massachusetts],” declared Chait.
But while Chait and other charter school fans claim Massachusetts as a charter school model, the deeper reality is that charters are driving Boston’s public education system to the financial brink.
Most people have a complex relationship with money. We either live in a state of perpetual lack, spend frivolously and without intention, or use it in ways that perpetuate harm. This is true for individuals and it is also true for institutions.
The way to change our relationship with money is to dissect and examine it. As the philanthropic sector, we need to be having frank conversations about where wealth came from, why it’s held back from public coffers, how it’s invested as an endowment, and who gets to manage, allocate and spend it.
As a Native American who has seen the ravages of colonialism and as someone who works in philanthropy, I know that understanding our historical relationship with wealth is not just a good idea; it is a moral imperative. No industry is immune from developing an unhealthy relationship to currency.
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