General Assembly Thursday December 17th @ Dean 4-6pm in the cafeteria.
MTA’s messages on the destructive impact of high-stakes testing are beginning to get through, but it is crucial to drive them home.
Members are asked to turn up the volume by sending messages right away to members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education before it votes on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The MTA’s message is this: NO to PARCC. NO to MCAS 2.0. YES to a moratorium on high-stakes testing.
Across the country, educators, parents and students are making their voices heard on how high-stakes testing undermines teaching and learning. MTA members need to continue to raise their voices in that chorus.
Please click here to send your e-mails right away. Feel free to elaborate on the message the MTA has developed to describe your own experiences with PARCC and high-stakes testing.
In addition, members are urged to come to the BESE public hearing on the future of testing in Massachusetts. The hearing is Monday, Nov. 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Malden High School, 77 Salem St., Malden.
Members of the HTA,
Thursday, October 1, the leadership of HTA met with Dr. Zrike in order to discuss the changes that will be taking place as a result of the Turnaround Plan. (http://www.hps.holyoke.ma.us/pdf/receiver/turnaroundplan.pdf)
While there are many issues that we will be facing in the coming year, we would like to take a moment to make sure you are all aware of some of the more pressing matters regarding the Turnaround Plan.
1. Receiver Review
Effective immediately, anyone on a Directed Growth or Improvement Plan will be under review. The receiver will establish a process for review that will be shared in advance with each staff member identified for review.
Effective immediately, the evaluation will more closely reflect DESE model language for evaluations. More specific guidance will be shared next week and staff will be trained on the new model.
3. Grievance Procedure
Effective immediately, any grievances that fall within the boundaries as put forth by the Turnaround Plan will be subject to the grievance procedure laid out in the Turnaround Plan.
4. Performance Pay
The performance-based salary system will not be implemented until the 2016-2017 school year. For the remainder of this school year, all salary schedules will remain. For clarification, the plan does not call for union staff to reapply for their positions at the end of the school year and any changes in the compensation system next year will not result in a reduction to someone’s pay.
5. Extended Day
Any implementation of an extended day will not take place during this school year. The earliest that we will see this implemented is at the outset of the 2016-2017 school year. We will be going from 990 hours of instruction to 1330 hours of instruction.
There are many more things that will surface as we have the time to delve deeper into the document. We will keep you posted as soon as we know anything. We realize that many of you will have questions and we ask that you be patient, as this will be ongoing. Dr. Zrike will be visiting all schools over the next 2 1/2 weeks to answer any questions staff might have about the plan. We will continue to meet with Dr. Zrike and figure out exactly how all of these changes will affect us this year and the following year.
The MTA has joined an effort by the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition to raise revenues for education and transportation through an amendment to the state Constitution.
The Raise Up Massachusetts Amendment filed on Aug. 4, 2015, would:
- Add a 4 percentage point tax on the portion of a filer’s income in excess of $1 million. Income tax rates would remain unchanged for the bottom 99 percent of the population.
- Index the $1 million threshold to inflation so that it would never affect anyone but the very wealthiest taxpayers.
- Dedicate the more than $1 billion raised annually to public education, public higher education and transportation infrastructure.