State news roundup for April 5, 2014

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Maryland – Landmark common core bills pass Maryland General Assembly

MSEA MD Maryland logoThrough a series of overwhelming and bipartisan votes, the Maryland General Assembly passed three major bills to address the persistent problems associated with the state’s implementation of Common Core State Standards, the new PARCC test, and new teacher evaluation systems.

“These bills will help us re-establish some common sense in how we implement Common Core,” said Maryland State Education Association President Betty Weller. “Maryland’s public schools have long been a national leader and, thanks to the General Assembly, Maryland is now a national leader for how a state can come together and help students, educators, and schools get the necessary time, flexibility, and resources to get these major changes right. I look forward to standing with Governor O’Malley when he signs these bills into law.”

“Common Core State Standards are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to define the same high-quality, world-class education necessary for all students to be successful in our fast-changing world. The promise of these standards for all students is extraordinary, but we must get their implementation right,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “Maryland has led the nation in providing great public schools, and now Maryland is leading the way again with common-sense education legislation that benefits all students.”

Find out more about all three bills at

Massachusetts – Nominations sought for MTA Human and Civil Rights Awards

hcr_save_date_web_2014The MTA Human Relations Committee is soliciting nominations for the 2014 MTA Human and Civil Rights Awards. The awards honor those who have shown extraordinary dedication to civil rights and human relations.

The awards will be presented on Friday, June 20, at the annual Human and Civil Rights Banquet at the Westin Waltham-Boston Hotel.

Nominations may be made by individuals (students, educators, administrators, public or community officials, parents) or school associations, organizations or agencies working in the area of human and/or civil rights.  Nominees are not required to be MTA members unless they are eligible for membership.

Award categories include the Louise Gaskins Lifetime Civil Rights Award and the Kathleen Roberts Creative Leadership Award. Additional information about the awards and instructions for making submissions are included in the nomination form.

Nominate a deserving educator at!

New Jersey – Paterson EA rallies for fair contract

PatersonEARallyPaterson Education Association members and supporters flanked Paterson’s John F. Kennedy High School on Saturday while the district held a job fair.  Despite inclement weather, PEA members were not deterred.  They stood at each end of the campus driveway, and on a busy corner in between, holding saying “Fair Contract Now” and “Enough Is Enough” as job-fair attendees arrived for interviews [ed note: pictured above and at left].

Car horns beeped in support and members continued to flood the sidewalks throughout the morning, despite the cold and rainy conditions. John Setteducato, a captain for the Association, used a bullhorn to lead the crowd in chants of “Settle Now!”

One PEA leader spoke about past district job fairs when the administration and association worked together to meet and greet potential employees. She described setting up a table in the high school, handing out information to potential future members, and long lines wrapped around the high school at past events. But now, she said, everything is different.  For the last two years, PEA has not taken part in the job fair.  This year, though, the association decided to get the message out that it is unacceptable for anyone to work under the conditions facing PEA members.

Visit to find out more.

Wisconsin – Evers names task force to address achievement gaps

logo-weacSix WEAC members are among 17 educators named  to a task force charged with identifying classroom-centered best practices to address Wisconsin’s achievement gap. In addition to public school teachers, the task force includes administrators and private school educators.

In announcing the task force, State Superintendent Tony Evers called it the most important work he’ll do this spring.

Using a school-level data review, the teachers and principals who will serve on the Promoting Excellence for All: State Superintendent’s Task Force on Wisconsin’s Achievement Gap were chosen because their schools are showing increased student academic achievement. Additionally, the schools are closing achievement gaps and the achievement of non-white students in their schools is improving. Task force members are from public, charter, and choice schools throughout Wisconsin representing urban, suburban, and rural areas.

“The work of this task force is extremely important to me because it is directly connected to Agenda 2017, my vision for all of Wisconsin’s students to graduate college and career ready,” Evers said. “The task force and its work are my No. 1 priority this spring.”

Read more about the new task force at

Reader Comments

  1. I see an opportunity to communicate with gov Christie…nj teachers…let’s gather at Rowan and have a political discourse with gov Christie about his failures…pick a few of the many…I’ll call the NJEA and ask if they have some money for poster board and markers. This might be the most effective thing the NJEA has done in a long while. RSVP please so I know how much poster board to bring. I’m fine and I’m serious. It’s what unions are supposed to do…organize

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