Massachusetts

The Election is Over, but the Struggle for Justice Continues

The United States has a new president-elect. After the results, it is only natural that we take some time to think and reflect. At the end of a long, divisive election many feel a fresh wave of apprehension and a heightened level of concern. However, while advocates prepare for the hard work of ensuring the president-elect and Congress continue to increase children’s opportunity to learn, public education advocates also have reasons to celebrate. In two states, Massachusetts and Georgia, because of students, parents, educators, and advocates, the public took a strong stand in favor of public education. These local advocacy efforts provide inspiration and hope for the battles and victories to come across the nation.

Dear Friends,John H. Jackson

Why this Renowned Educator is Voting "No" on Question 2

In this Boston Globe op-ed, award-winning educator and author Jonathan Kozol makes a comprehensive case for why Question 2 is the wrong direction for our commonwealth's schools. We need a fairer, more equitable, and better-funded public education system in Massachusetts that works for all our children: Question 2 would push us away from that urgent goal.

Kozol joins countless local elected officials, school boards, parents, and community groups who have declared their opposition to Question 2, including Schott Foundation’s President & CEO Dr. John H. Jackson. Dr. Jackson recently co-wrote an open letter with Josie Greene, a Director of the Josephine & Louise Crane Foundation, detailing how Question 2 would divert funds from public schools, erode local accountability, and take us further away from the educational quality, equity, and opportunity all our communities deserve.

In this Boston Globe op-ed, award-winning educator and author Jonathan Kozol makes a comprehensive case for why Question 2 is the wrong direction for our commonwealth's schools. We need a fairer, more equitable, and better-funded public education system in Massachusetts that works for all our children: Question 2 would push us away from that urgent goal.

A Question of Better Education for All

Question 2, which will appear on Massachusetts voters’ ballots on Nov. 8, claims that it will increase educational choice and improve educational standards across the state. In fact, it would do the opposite.

For the past decade, Massachusetts has led the nation in academic achievement. Our students have even been top ranked internationally in a time when the country’s educational outcomes have slid year by year. Massachusetts accomplished this by taking bold steps that impact all students, most importantly changing the state’s school funding system to invest more in schools in high need, low-income areas so that all students have a better opportunity to achieve. There is still critical work to be done to close persistent opportunity gaps in the system, but we won’t get there if we go in completely the wrong direction. This would be to allow state officials to give up on investing in improving a system that serves all students in need.

classroom with students

Dear Education Advocates,

Question 2, which will appear on Massachusetts voters’ ballots on Nov. 8, claims that it will increase educational choice and improve educational standards across the state. In fact, it would do the opposite.

New Infographic: Empowering Trans Students with Super Powers

The Schott Foundation for Public Education joins the country and the international community in mourning all of the lives lost and injured during the recent shootings in Orlando targeting members of the LGBTQ community specifically, and our humanity more broadly. The hatred exhibited in Orlando calls into question what more our country can do to limit unnecessary gun violence and to ensure the safety and well-being of LGBTQ individuals where they live, work, learn, play, worship, and govern. During this difficult time, Schott reaffirms its commitment to resource advocates and campaigns to institutionalize the policies and practices that create healthy living and learning spaces for all.

We recognize that the threat of homophobic and transphobic violence is very real for many of us, including our children. 

Schott and our partners have been working on this infographic for some time, and it is being released while our nation is mourning and the national narrative around trans students has been singularly focused on bathroom facilities. These current issues only highlight why we need to do more to support transgender students in a more comprehensive way.

Across the country, we're working with our grantees for educational justice

The Schott Foundation has been having an exciting few weeks of travelling around the country to share ideas, meet allied organizations, and see the work and future planes of our grantees highlighted in a variety of forums and conferences. It’s been great to see innovative and important conversations happening, and we’re glad to share with you some of the highlights!

Is school funding fair? For too many students, the answer is still no.

Since 2010, the Education Law Center has published national report cards on how states are (or aren't) investing in their schools and students. "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card" released Wednesday, paints a worrying picture. In most states, ELC has found that public funding for schools is both unfair and inequitable: that is, not only are schools not receiving the funds they need, the schools that need funding the most are the ones with the most dramatic shortfalls.

Thousands of Boston Students Walk-Out Against Budget Cuts

Over three thousand students staged a walk-out on Monday to protest impending budget cuts to Boston Public Schools. Students marched downtown, through Boston Common, and rallied at the state house in an inspiring display of student power.

Over three thousand students staged a walk-out on Monday to protest impending budget cuts to Boston Public Schools. Students marched downtown, through Boston Common, and rallied at the state house in an inspiring display of student power:

Student rights? There's an app for that.

Schott's Senior Vice President of National Partnerships, Cassie Schwerner, was so impressed with Youth on Board’s new Boston Student Rights app – the first of its kind in the country – she decided to talk with staff and student leaders to learn more about it. Here, she chats with Carlos Rojas, Education Policy Organizer for Youth on Board (YOB).

CASSIE SCHWERNER: Why did young people, youth organizers, in the Boston area feel the need to create the Boston Student Rights app?

CARLOS ROJAS: Young people of color, trans youth and others are being criminalized and pushed out of schools. Did you see the video of the police officer in the South Carolina classroom? That sort of violence happens all over. We knew we needed a new organizing tool to help us reach young people in the schools – young people most affected by the school-to-prison-pipeline. But we also knew the tools we had used before, like palm cards and posters, were not practical for many of the situations young people find themselves in. We wanted something that could be immediately on hand when a young person was being confronted by figures of authority, something they would always have access to.

Schott's Senior Vice President of National Partnerships, Cassie Schwerner, was so impressed with Youth on Board’s new Boston Student Rights app – the first of its kind in the country – she decided to talk with staff and student leaders to learn more about it. Here, she chats with Carlos Rojas, Education Policy Organizer for Youth on Board (YOB).

CASSIE SCHWERNER: Why did young people, youth organizers, in the Boston area feel the need to create the Boston Student Rights app?

Boston #ReclaimOurSchools Walk-in

On February 17th, Boston parents, teachers, and students participated in nationwide walk-ins to #ReclaimOurSchools. Organized by the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, these walk-ins were a show of community support for public schools and a demand for fully funded, high-quality, and equitable education. 40,000 people participated in the walk-ins across the country, which took place in over 30 cities. Boston schools were on break, but there was still great turnout at the statehouse as hundreds rallied to protest proposed school budget cuts and raising the charter cap. Schools being closed gave Boston Public Schools (BPS) students an opportunity to participate, and they spoke eloquently about the problems facing their schools alongside their teachers and representatives from the Massachusetts Educational Justice Alliance (MEJA), who organized the event.

On February 17th, Boston parents, teachers, and students participated in nationwide walk-ins to #ReclaimOurSchools. Organized by the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, these walk-ins were a show of community support for public schools and a demand for fully funded, high-quality, and equitable education. 40,000 people participated in the walk-ins across the country, which took place in over 30 cities.

MA Charter School Fight Heats Up

Massachusetts is facing a lawsuit that will likely lead to lifting the state’s cap on charter schools, further depriving traditional public schools of funding by allowing a potentially unlimited number of charter schools to develop. To combat this plan, education advocates are trying to demonstrate how lifting the cap will hurt students. The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) is asking supporters to testify against the plan at a public hearing on Feb. 10th, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice intends to intervene on behalf of the students who would be most affected by this loss of funding: students learning English, students with disabilities, and students of color. These students are those charter schools typically “push out,” leaving traditional schools to unfairly teach the vast majority of students who require the most resources.

Massachusetts is facing a lawsuit that will likely lead to lifting the state’s cap on charter schools, further depriving traditional public schools of funding by allowing a potentially unlimited number of charter schools to develop. To combat this plan, education advocates are trying to demonstrate how lifting the cap will hurt students. The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) is asking supporters to testify against the plan at a public hearing on Feb.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Massachusetts