At the high-stakes testing resistance meeting this past weekend, we talked a lot about the power of one-to-one conversations – and about how we can build a movement by sharing information, coming to an understanding of the problem, and bringing more and more people into actions. A movement grows by knitting together those conversations at the building level, within our locals and in the community.
And sometimes a movement needs a rally. We’ve got one for you. Save the date: Saturday, May 20, 2:30 to 5 p.m. in Boston. The MTA will be joining coalition partners in a Rally for Public Education. We will not let Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump, Charlie Baker, Jim Peyser or Mitchell Chester privatize our public schools. We will fight for the schools our communities deserve. PLEASE PUT THIS IN YOUR CALENDAR. More information will follow.
Last Forum on Race and Ethnicity on March 30 
The fourth and final Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee forum on “Race, Ethnicity and Public Education” will be held on Thursday, March 30, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at MTA’s Auburn Office. Go here for more information and to register for this important conversation.
Islamophobia Forum Set for Saturday 
Join fellow MTA members from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, at MTA headquarters in Quincy to discuss how to combat Islamophobia in your classroom, your school and your community. Go here for more information on this event, sponsored by MTA’s Task Force on Race.
Fight Workplace Bullying
Bullying takes many forms. Join other educators on Sunday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MTA Headquarters in Quincy to discuss how to push back against all forms of workplace bullying, including when it manifests itself through the punitive evaluation system. Go here for more information and to register.
Members Shed Light on Higher Ed Funding Cuts
There have been a lot of articles and columns about funding woes at UMass Boston, but they fail to highlight the root of the problem: gross underfunding of the public higher education system in this state. Fortunately, members are raising the issue in letters to the editor and elsewhere. Here’s one eye-popping statistic from three members of the UMass Boston faculty: “In 1985 state funding made up 75 percent of the campus’s operating budget. . Today it makes up 29.5 percent.” 

On one more note, the commissioner and many superintendents are looking to quash the growing resistance to high-stakes testing through bullying and threats. Please share the knowledge that it is entirely legal to opt out of high-stakes testing. You might want to listen to and share this WBUR Radio Boston program in which the commissioner eventually, under pressure, relents to the truth.

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