Collective bargaining resumes today. The BTU and the BPS will meet today in a session expected to run from 3-8 PM. The issue that broke up the last session abruptly — the district’s public airing of a new school calendar — appears, for now, to have been resolved, and the issue itself will be discussed formally in the bargaining session.
Math Rocks Event: The BTU proudly hosts a citywide math competition today, with more than 40 school teams and over 220 students competing in our fourth annual Math Rocks competition. It is a wonderful sight to observe our students compete academically. The contest involves completing two sets of individual problem sets of 12, and a team problem set of four. Trophies are given out to individual and school team high scorers.
We thank our schools for competing and making the effort to take time to participate in the event. It is a proud moment for all of us to watch students compete and do well. Many, many thanks go to our volunteers as well as the teacher-coaches at the school level. The mayor and the superintendent will be present to award the students’ trophies, and the students will receive t-shirts as well as participation ribbons. There’s lunch, a DJ to provide music during the “off” time, and a photographer to take pictures of all of the students and school teams. All of this is sponsored by the 10,000 members of the Boston Teachers Union.
Last week we wrote of the BPS effort to increase testing for lead in the 37 schools that use tap water. See the Globe report. It appears, however, that a $300,000 program to replace drinking fountains in six schools has hit a temporary roadblock as recent tests have shown elevated levels of lead in the newly-repaired fountains. See a Globe report, “Boston schools move to fix lead in water — and now it’s worse.”
Finally, last week the state senate released a lengthy ed-reform bill (see the MTA’s summary) that combines an increase in the charter cap with some modest changes in how charters are to conduct business. Charter reimbursements would be slightly adjusted. See a report from the State House News Service.
The statewide coalition to which we belong, along with the AFTMA, the MTA, and many parent, community, and student groups, has taken a unified position against the legislation, which would open Boston and other districts up for significantly more charter schools, even though the charters would, in theory, be held more accountable. We ask you to spend 30 seconds to send your legislators a message to vote to keep the cap.