Upcoming BTU Events & Committee Meetings

Parent to Parent Conference: Saturday, January 27
Join us at Madison Park High School for this free event for parents and educators to learn from each other! See the flyer and register on the BTU website. Also, please share and invite friends on Facebook.

NEW — Inclusion Committee Meeting: Tuesday, January 30
Please join us from 4:30-6:30 at the BTU. RSVP to Jonathan at jrodrigues@btu.org.

Unafraid Educators Meeting: Thursday, February 1
Please join us from 4:30-6:30 at Fenway High School. Please RSVP by emailing Farah at fassiraj@btu.org.

NEW — SELWELL & RJOC Joint Committee Meeting: Monday, February 5
Please join us at 4:30 at the BTU for this important meeting with both committees to share updates and goals for our joint advocacy efforts. Both committees will convene separately after the joint meeting. Please RSVP to Farah at fassriaj@btu.org.

NEW — Black Caucus Meeting: Monday, February 5
Please join us on Monday, February at 4:30 PM at the Mattapan Branch Library, 1350 Bluehill Avenue in Mattapan. RSVP to Adrienne at ajordan@bostonpublicschools.org.

2018 BTU Winter Conference: Saturday, February 10
Please plan to join us from 9 AM to 3 PM at the BTU on Saturday, February 10! Our theme: “Leading the Movement with Equity and BTU POWER.” Read more, register, and download the flyer!

Boston Teacher Weighs in on PROSPER Act

Gina Sheehan on panelOne of our AFT Teacher Leader alums, Gina Sheehan, penned a great op-ed last week in the Washington Post, “The teacher takes on much more than just teaching’ — which is why the House overhaul of higher ed must be resisted.”

Gina teaches at the Dearborn STEM and told BTU staff, “Thank you for getting me started in policy work!” Read an excerpt:

Think of a teacher who helped make you the person you are today. Everyone has at least one or two who spring to mind. One reason our teachers are so memorable is that growing up, we spend so much of our time in school, being taught by professionals dedicated to improving our lives and the lives of our friends.

Now, imagine a student who returns each night to a home where adults are absent, where food is not always available, and where her goals, talents and dreams may take a back seat to matters of daily survival. In this situation, the value and role of the teacher is dramatically increased. As the only reliable adult around, the teacher takes on much more than just teaching.

So when teachers are attacked — as they are with the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, the House Republicans’ plan to rewrite higher education policy and end Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a crucial program that lets teachers and other public workers stay in jobs they love instead of chasing high paychecks — students, and especially high-need students, pay the price.

Read Gina’s full op-ed on the Washington Post website.

Community Opportunities of Interest

NEW — Harvard, Stand with Puerto Rico! Divest from Hate Action: Tomorrow
Please join us tomorrow, Wednesday, January 24 at 1 PM at Harvard Yard in Cambridge. RSVP by emailing Farah at fassriaj@btu.org. See the Facebook event.

NEW — Popular Education for Social Change Training of Trainers: February 24
This full-day popular education workshop, sponsored by WILD, the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development, will examine the theory and techniques of education for social change. Join them on February 24 from 9:30 AM to 4 PM at SEIU Local 509, 293 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough 01752. For more information, contact Susan Winning at 978-934-3127 or susan_winning@umi.edu.

MCIEA Forum — Beyond Standardized Tests: February 27
Over the last 20 years in Massachusetts, we have learned that student and school success cannot be captured by one single assessment. As we look to the future, how can we create a system that measures what our communities most value for our students and schools while empowering teachers? Join the Massachusetts Consortium of Innovative Education Assessment (MCIEA), a partnership of six public school districts and their local teacher unions, to learn about an innovative approach to assessment and accountability that includes performance assessments and multiple measures of school quality. Hear from superintendents, teachers, students, and parents. Join us from 8-10 AM on February 27 at the Omni Parker House Hotel. Register online today.

NEW — Boston Educators for Social Justice: Call for Proposals
The 8th Annual Boston-Area Educators for Social Justice Conference will take place on Saturday, April 7. Please save the date! This year’s theme is “Our Stories, Our Future: The Struggle for Self-determination in Education.” Organizers are calling now for workshop proposals. Proposals are due by February 24.