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Smizik MCAS Amendment

THE FINAL VERSION OF THE SMIZIK MCAS AMENDMENT ELIMINATES THE MCAS GRADUATION ONLY FOR THE GRADUATING CLASSES OF 2003 AND 2004. IT DOES NOT PERMANENTLY ELIMINATE THE GRADUATION REQUIREMENT.

YOUR REPRESENTATIVE CAN STILL SIGN ON TO THE AMENDMENT TODAY AND TOMORROW (MONDAY AND TUESDAY)BY CALLING STEPHANIE IN REP SMIZIK'S OFFICE. 617-722-2060 ( WE STILL DO NOT HAVE A NUMBER FOR THE AMENDMENT).

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WE NEED YOU TO CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY-

TELL HIM OR HER TO SIGN ON TO THE SMIZIK MCAS AMENDMENTS WHICH ELIMINATES THE MCAS GRADUATION REQUIREMENT FOR THE CLASSES OF 2002 AND 2004

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXPLANATION OF WHAT IS HAPPENING REGARDING MCAS AMENDMENTS IN THE HOUSE BUDGET

Bear with us as it is a complicated process!

The House budget was made public on Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Special rules say that House members can only propose amendments that cost money if they also propose a way to save money.

All amendments to the budget must be filed by 5:00pm Friday, April 25. The more reps that sign on to an amendment the better chance it has to be debated on the floor of the House.

THE BUDGET IS THE BEST CHANCE WE HAVE TO STOP THE MCAS GRADUATION REQUIREMENT THIS YEAR. To date, the Education Committee has not even scheduled a public hearing on the MCAS bills. So they are unlikely to even get out of committee before graduations take place.

There are two places in the budget where there is money for MCAS. One is the student assessment line item of the Department of Education. It includes language about multiple assessments. There is $18.8 million in this line item. The second line item has to do with MCAS remediation. It is $10 million ($43 million less than the governor asked for) only for the students in the classes of 2003, 04, and 05, who have failed MCAS and only for math and English.

The language specifies that $3million of the remediation money will be spent for public higher education (probably community colleges) and public - private partnerships.

Representative Frank Smizik of Brookline is the lead sponsor of MCAS amendments. He has moved to eliminate $28 million of $28.8 million in the above line items for MCAS and has designated that the $28million that is saved be used to reduce class sizes in grades K- 3 in low income communities (which we know works to improve education). The remaining $888,000 will be designated to have DOE develop an authentic multiple assessment system to replace MCAS. The Smizik amendment eliminates MCAS as a graduation requirement.

Only House members, not Senators need to be called today. If you do not know who your rep is you may find out by going to http://www.wheredoivotema.com. The budget is scheduled to be debated starting on April 30. We will keep you informed as we get more details.

Best regards,
Marilyn Segal
Director, Citizens for Public Schools
marilyn@citizensforpublicschools.org

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