Public education in Massachusetts is undergoing big changes. School committees and superintendents across the state are spending the summer debating whether to continue MCAS testing next year or instead have all students take PARCC exams, which test the national Common Core standards.
No matter which choice schools make, many teachers are angry and frustrated about the heavy focus on testing. They're also pushing back against new approaches to evaluating teacher performance — and whether to lift the cap on charter school enrollment in Massachusetts remains a fiery debate.
Barbara Madeloni tapped into those feelings when she ran for — and won — the presidency of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. She's an active opponent of standardized testing and she wants to lead a grassroots effort that would give teachers a stronger voice.
WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with Madeloni about her views and goals.
- "Madeloni has an extensive history in education and activism; she is an outspoken critic of standardized testing and its use in teacher evaluations. In a wide-ranging interview, she talked to Learning Lab about her goals for the union, the characteristics of a good classroom, and more."
- "A self-described social justice activist from the liberal college town of Northampton, Madeloni was until recently a complete unknown in political circles. But her upset election last month as president of the 110,000-member Massachusetts Teachers Association has already jolted lawmakers and officials worried about the dawn of a more adversarial relationship with the state’s largest union."
This segment aired on July 18, 2014.