Public Schools at a Crossroads: Reclaiming public education and fighting for justice in the COVID-19 era
Sun June 14, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
Public education in Massachusetts is at a crossroads with the Covid-19 crisis shutting down schools, while highlighting and exacerbating drastic racial disparities driven by inequitable funding, high stakes testing, harsh school discipline, and school privatization schemes. What resources are needed for a just recovery in K-12 public education? Where can these resources come from? What will a just recovery in public education look like, one that focuses on the holistic health and wellness needs of students, teachers and families, not standardized testing?
Panelists will include Lisa Guisbond, Executive Director of Citizens for Public Schools; Merrie Najimy, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association; Zac Bears, Executive Director of PHENOM, the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts; Suzie McGlone, Boston Public School teacher.
Merrie Najimy, president of the 110,000-member Massachusetts Teachers Association, is an ardent advocate for public education whose principles are grounded in her nearly three decades as a classroom teacher. Najimy was first elected MTA president in May of 2018 and re-elected in 2020.
Lisa Guisbond, Executive Director, Citizens for Public Schools. After many years as a writer and editor, Lisa became active as a parent in the statewide movement for testing reform and against public education privatization. Her writing on education has appeared in a range of publications, including USA Today, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, Commonwealth Magazine and the Bay State Banner.
Zac Bears has been the executive director of PHENOM since 2017 and serves as a Medford City Councilor. Before that he worked as a communicator for AFSCME and was a student activist and newspaper editor at UMass Amherst.
Suzie McGlone is a 6h grade humanities teacher at Orchard Gardens and an activist for educational, racial and social justice.
Evelyn Reyes has served as the student representative to the Boston School Committee, a member of the Boston Student Advisory Council, and recently graduated from the O’Bryant High School of Math and Science.