The MBAE Affiliate Network let Senators know this week why employers oppose Senate budget amendments that would dismantle education reforms that have made Massachusetts number one in the nation in student achievement.
The Network urged the Senate to reject budget amendments which are addressed in bills that will be reviewed through the regular legislative process and receive a public hearing with the opportunity for greater deliberation and all perspectives to be considered.
The MBAE Network urged Senators to:
Oppose limitations on use of data essential for district and school leaders to make personnel decisions that are in the best interest of students, particularly in struggling schools. Amendments of particular concern would:
- Remove a school leader’s ability to weigh performance more heavily than seniority in teacher tenure decisions (#94);
- Eliminate state requirements that districts evaluate teachers, at least in part, on their impact on student learning, growth, or achievement (#99); and,
- Gut the state’s education accountability system that has provided actionable data essential for school improvement (#95).
Oppose a moratorium on MCAS testing. Statewide standardized tests are essential because they:
- Ensure that the same bar for learning is set for every student, in every district across the state;
- Provide critical information to parents and educators about whether students are meeting those expectations;
- Shine a light and therefore create urgency to address persistent racial and socio-economic achievement gaps; and,
- Provide essential data about school and district performance that can be used to correct course if necessary, or to highlight best practices that can be replicated.
During Budget deliberations, the most egregious amendments emphasizing seniority rather than performance as a key factor in personnel decisions and imposing a test moratorium were withdrawn. Unfortunately, another amendment restricting the use of measures of a teacher’s impact on student learning in teacher evaluation was adopted on a 22-15 vote. We applaud the Senators who stood on the side of students and professional educators who meet high expectations by voting “nay”.