Saturday, April 7, 2012

603 CMR: Big Money NPO Pushes Legislation in Massachusetts Public Schools


603 CMR "Stand for Children" or "Educators Evaluation" ballot question initiative

"An Act to Promoting Excellence in Schools"
-Submitted to Attorney General 11/20/2011

-Deadline for petition: May 2012
-Deadline for revision: July 12, 2012


"An Act Promoting Excellence in Schools" 

As filed to Attorney General Martha Coakley on November 20, 2011. The petition was filed by the fine folks at Smith, Ruddock & Hayes A Public Policy Consulting Group.


603 CMR Initiative "Stand for Children" or "Educators Evaluation" ballot question initiative

Actual initiative as filed with the Department of Educators.  

Fact Sheets/ Summaries:

603 CMR Fact Sheet from Mass Teachers 

The rundown on 603 CMR, from collective bargaining, to educators evaluations, to the right to appeal.  This is the rap on 603 CMR Initiative without the legalese. 

Teachers Activist Group (TAG) Boston Ballot initiative summary

Teachers Activist Group summarizes 603 CMR, and their concerns with the initiative including the changes it represents for inner city schools. 

Teachers Activist Group (TAG) 603 CMR Fact Sheet

603 CMR fact sheet as provided by the Teachers Activist Group


Concerns raised by Teachers Activist Group

       "As Rethinking Schools’ representative to the National Network of Teacher Activist Groups, I hear a lot of news about exciting organizing (and outrageous attacks on education). Recently, TAG Boston told us that Stand for Children has zeroed in on Massachusetts. That reminded me that last fall, Rethinking Schools published an investigative piece, “For or Against Children? The Problematic History of Stand for Children,” in which authors Ken Libby and Adam Sanchez described how Stand began as a parent-led organization with a progressive agenda, but has become a highly funded weapon in the attacks on teachers and teachers’ unions. I thought our blog readers would be interested in this update by Teacher Activist Group-Boston."
–Jody Sokolower, 
Policy and Production Editor
Teachers activist group


Boston Globe: Teachers Unions Factor in Teacher Evaluations Ballot Initiative

       "A state ballot initiative that would make the performance of teachers - rather than years of service - the top consideration in whether they keep their jobs is gaining some momentum, even as it faces strong opposition from teachers unions, state education leaders, and other educators."  -James Vaznis

Boston Globe (Editorial) : Bargain for Face the Ballot

      "A PROPOSED ballot initiative about teacher seniority has come along at a delicate time for public education in Massachusetts. Even as state and local education officials are working through more rigorous ways of evaluating teachers, the education-reform group Stand for Children is mounting a ballot initiative to ensure that performance in the classroom trumps seniority when it comes to staffing decisions." -Boston Globe Editorial

Mass Non-Profit: Stand for Children Launches Campaign for Its Ballot Initiative

       "March 20, 2012 — Stand for Children Massachusetts, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group that works to ensure that all children graduate from high school, yesterday launched a statewide brand building campaign to support its November ballot initiative that aims to change the way public school teachers are promoted and laid off. Television commercials, which began airing yesterday, will continue to be broadcast for the next four weeks across the state on the four major networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox."

Channel 5 Boston: Controversial Education Group Launches Mass. Campaign

       "BOSTON -- A mega-battle pitting teachers unions against a relative newcomer to Massachusetts politics launched Monday with the debut of a television ad calling for better education for school children. Stand for Children, a group in nine other states that has initiated epic battles with teacher unions in Illinois and Oregon, began a five-week television campaign in the Boston market that several sources indicate will be cost more than $500,000." - Channel 5 Boston

       "As a former teacher and someone who has devoted many years to bettering children's lives through education, I was incredibly touched by a parent's recent letter recounting their child's dramatic improvement in writing thanks to the work of dedicated teachers ("Bowditch School teachers helped son realize love of writing," letter to the editor, Friday, March 30). I know how much devotion it takes to be a great teacher, and it is comforting to see such dedication recognized." 

-Jason Williams
Executive Director

Associated Press: Council finds states weakening teacher tenure 1.25.2012

       "WASHINGTON — America's public school teachers are seeing their generations-old tenure protections weakened as states seek flexibility to fire teachers who aren't performing. A few states have essentially nullified tenure protections altogether, according to an analysis being released Wednesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality." 
-Kimberly Heffling
Associated Press

Rethinking Schools: For or against children? The problematic history of "Stand for Children" 

       "Last October, a friend called with a question: “What do you know about Stand for Children?” The advocacy organization, based in our hometown of Portland, Ore., was expanding into his state of Illinois, and he hoped to glean some insight into the kinds of reforms the group would support. Just two months later, Stand’s Illinois branch had amassed more than $3 million in a political action committee and unveiled an aggressive teacher evaluation bill..." 
-Ken Libby and Adam Sanchez
Rethinking Schools


Petition against 603 CMR via Mass Teacher
Stand for children "Great Teachers Great Schools" campaign


Stand For Children NPO MA advisory board

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