Supporters of MCAS reform convene at the State House

MTA Vice President Paul Toner joined parents, students and educators who traveled from across the Commonwealth to the State House on Feb. 13 to lobby for MCAS reform.

The lobby day was part of Citizens for Public Schools' Campaign for the Education of the Whole Child. MTA is a member of CPS.

"There is a real commitment to MCAS reform," Toner said. "I spoke to many folks who feel very strongly that we need a better system for determining whether students receive a high school diploma. All we are asking is that performance on MCAS not be the only measure of achievement; that would make all the difference for our students and our schools."

Those who could not be at the State House joined a virtual lobby day by telephoning and e-mailing messages to lawmakers and Gov. Deval Patrick. Those who took part in person, including Toner, left postcards at the governor's office and then met with legislators.

Rep. Carl Sciortino (D-Somerville) and Sen. Pam Resor (D-Acton) addressed the group, which numbered several hundred. Several high school students from the youth program Teen Empowerment and Erin O'Leary, a parent and representative of the grassroots organization Neighbor to Neighbor, talked about their own experiences with MCAS and their concerns about the test. Several state legislators and legislative staff members also attended the forum.

MTA members are urged to continue to contact the governor and legislators:

  • Send a postcard or letter to the governor asking him to support MCAS Reform. Preprinted postcards have been distributed to MTA's large locals. Others can get postcards through MTA's Governmental Services Division, 617-878-8119.
  • Call and e-mail the governor, representatives, and senators and ask them to support MCAS Reform.

Governor Patrick: 617-725-4005

State House Main Number: 617-722-2000