Education Task Force Meeting 1/8/17


Attending: Laura Baker, Denise Petrin, Paul Jablon, Ruth Odom, Jim Cerillo, Kim Wolcott, Sharon Tracy (note taker).

Discussion of a statement of principles, goals, action items.

  • The work of FCCPR and the Ed TF must resonate with Franklin County residents.
  • We see ourselves connecting with existing national, state and local efforts, disseminating information, and taking action locally.
  • Means of taking action were discussed including working with the media, legislators, the MTA, developing and disseminating educational materials, holding educationals, etc.

Concerns addressed on which we will take action:

  1. Free higher education and lowering loans
  2. GCC’s president Bob Pura is taking leadership in the state on this
    1. A great resource is PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Mass) unites students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members from our state universities, community colleges and the UMass system to advocate for a high-quality, debt-free public higher education system.
    2. Kim Wolcott and Jim Cerillo will work on this, gather information, contact Pura, and bring info back to our next meeting.
  3. Local control of schools, no state take overs, no privatization, no voucher systems
    1. The Vote No On 2 effort was successful, build strong support, has excellent materials and will be the first place to look for materials, alliances, etc.
    2. Paul Jablon is working on this
  4. Addressing the burden of high stakes testing in the schools
    1. Fair Test, the MTA and others are working on this
    2. Laura Baker is working on this
  5. Civics education in the schools: according to our high school member, most youth do not understand how our system works because civics is not taught in schools now.
    1. MA Dept of Elem and Secondary Ed has just announced intentions of making civics part of the MCAS which we perceive as a dangerous move!
    2. PEN has information and materials about this issue
    3. Jonathan Kozol has an excellent article in Mother Jones 11/24/16
    4. Denise Petria is working on this (and possibly Ida Grace who was not at this meeting but has a strong interest in this).
  6. Free early childhood education (no person taking this on as yet)

Sharon Tracy and Paul Jablon will formulate a document which includes principles, goals and action issues for the Education TF, and after passing it by the task force members, will bring it to the general assembly on 1/29.

Laura and Kim will create a full list of all the Ed TF attendees.


February 26, Sunday, 1:30pm Greenfields Market upstairs

March 26, Sunday, 1:30pm Greenfields Market upstairs