Board of Directors In Action
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National PTA Legislation Conference, Washington D.C., 2010
On March 9-11, 2010, PTA held its annual National Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. The three-day conference inspired attendees and provided in-depth analysis on PTA's latest federal public policy priorities affecting families, schools and communities through skill building trainings, workshops, panel discussions, guest speakers, and Capitol Hill visits with congressional leaders. National PTA continued its tradition of helping child advocates to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill. The conference was attended by Kim Hunt , Massachusetts President, Mary Ann Stewart, Massachusetts PTA President -Elect and Ellie Goldberg, Massachusetts PTA Federal Legislative Chair.
Michelle Obama delivered an inspiring key note address on Wednesday during lunch. She told us about her Let's Move campaign to fight against childhood obesity. PTA is working on the reauthorization of the Healthy Schools act .Let's Move will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country.
On Thursday March 11 we spent the day on the "Hill" meeting with the staff for Senators Scott Brown and Senator John Kerry as well as education specialists in the offices of Representatives Markey, Neal, Capuano, Tsongas, Delahunt and Olver. We discussed the National PTA 2010 Public Policy Agenda with them as well as issues and success that you gave us about your schools.
We attended workshops on various Legislative issues such as the Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, Common Core Standards, Reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act, Family Engagement and much more! Click here for downloadable presentations from PTA's Legislative Conference workshop sessions.
On August 19, 2009, the Boston Herald published an Op-Ed written by Mr. Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute. Massachusetts PTA responded with the following two letters.
On June 23, 2009, Mass PTA President-elect, Mary Ann Stewart testified before the Joint Committee on Education RE: H3660, "An Act to Improve Assessment and Accountability to Ensure Students Acquire 21st Century Skills". One of more than 20 bills introduced related to MCAS testing, H3660 was introduced by Massachusetts State Representative Carl Sciortino of Somerville; it is the official response of Massachusetts PTA.
August 27, 2009
The Honorable Arne Duncan
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
Attention: Race to the Top Comments from Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Dear Secretary Duncan,
Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments regarding the Race to the Top Fund's proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.
Families play a critical role in children's school readiness as well as of students' decision to pursue higher education. Their role is a shared responsibility through collaboration with schools, educators, and community organizations to achieve more effective educational opportunities.
Effective family engagement is essential to close proficiency gaps, contributing to increased academic achievement, regardless of parents' education level, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. We write to strongly urge the Department to continue to deepen its work on family engagement in education; developing effective family engagement to strengthen the impact of the Race to the Top Fund on student achievement is vital in assisting the Department in achieving positive outcomes in its four core assurance areas.
By making family, school, and community engagement a critical component of the Race to the Top Fund's proposed requirements, priorities, and selection criteria, States will be able to leverage systemic family engagement efforts to improve educational outcomes for all students.
Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association