Business Leaders Urge Teachers to Halt Harmful Ads

Business for Better Schools says Massachusetts Teachers Association's

anti-MCAS ads are inaccurate and hurt students



Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Business for Better Schools

    BOSTON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Business for Better Schools, a
 broad-based coalition comprised of the state's leading business organizations
 which represent more than 10,000 employers,  today urged the Massachusetts
 Teachers Association to withdraw a series of harmful ads that use students as
 pawns to attack the MCAS tests.
     "The Mass Teachers Association's TV ads regarding MCAS tell Massachusetts
 students they can't succeed," said William S. Edgerly, Chairman of Business
 for Better Schools and Chairman Emeritus of State Street Corporation.  "We
 urge the teachers union to stop telling students, 'You can't,' and to help
 them say 'We can!'"
     In a letter to MTA President Stephen Gorrie, Edgerly criticized the MTA's
 continued use of misleading advertising and urged the union to pull the ads
 from local TV stations. While Business for Better Schools recognizes the
 union's right to make its positions known, the group criticized the MTA's ads,
 which show children crowded together at desks, shaking their heads, rubbing
 their eyes and holding their foreheads as a clock ticks. The ads omit any
 mention that students can have extra time to finish the test, can take the
 test five times before graduation and that they need only to master 10th
 grade-level reading, writing and math to graduate.
     Business for Better Schools also noted that MCAS is rated among the best
 assessment programs in the United States by Education Trust.
     "Being able to read, write and do math is not an unfair requirement for
 high school graduates," Edgerly said. "Massachusetts teachers should be
 allowed to work with students to ensure they have skills they clearly will
 need for work or college instead of having to pay for these harmful ads."
     Edgerly noted that the MTA sought to avoid "real accountability" that
 would result from the information that MCAS provides to parents and taxpayers.
     "Now that over seven billion dollars has been spent as part of the bargain
 on school reform, it would be wrong to remove the graduation requirement,"
 Edgerly said. "Statewide testing provides real accountability and the
 graduation requirement is the cornerstone. Accountability will end the old
 system, where poor education for the disadvantaged was swept under the rug."
     Business for Better Schools is a broad-based coalition comprised of the
 state's leading business organizations, including AeA, Associated Industries
 of Massachusetts, the Greater Boston and North Central Massachusetts Chambers
 of Commerce, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Mass Insight Education,
 the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Massachusetts High Technology
 Council.
     Business for Better Schools strongly believes that minimum education
 standards help students to succeed and that MCAS is a key element in the
 effort to create and maintain standards. Parents, educators, academics and
 political leaders know that equal education for all students depends upon a
 standard curriculum and uniform testing.
     In March, Business for Better Schools kicked off a campaign to support
 education standards as measured by MCAS and oppose any legislative attempt to
 water down or eliminate MCAS as a graduation requirement.
 
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SOURCE Business for Better Schools
    BOSTON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Business for Better Schools, a
 broad-based coalition comprised of the state's leading business organizations
 which represent more than 10,000 employers,  today urged the Massachusetts
 Teachers Association to withdraw a series of harmful ads that use students as
 pawns to attack the MCAS tests.
     "The Mass Teachers Association's TV ads regarding MCAS tell Massachusetts
 students they can't succeed," said William S. Edgerly, Chairman of Business
 for Better Schools and Chairman Emeritus of State Street Corporation.  "We
 urge the teachers union to stop telling students, 'You can't,' and to help
 them say 'We can!'"
     In a letter to MTA President Stephen Gorrie, Edgerly criticized the MTA's
 continued use of misleading advertising and urged the union to pull the ads
 from local TV stations. While Business for Better Schools recognizes the
 union's right to make its positions known, the group criticized the MTA's ads,
 which show children crowded together at desks, shaking their heads, rubbing
 their eyes and holding their foreheads as a clock ticks. The ads omit any
 mention that students can have extra time to finish the test, can take the
 test five times before graduation and that they need only to master 10th
 grade-level reading, writing and math to graduate.
     Business for Better Schools also noted that MCAS is rated among the best
 assessment programs in the United States by Education Trust.
     "Being able to read, write and do math is not an unfair requirement for
 high school graduates," Edgerly said. "Massachusetts teachers should be
 allowed to work with students to ensure they have skills they clearly will
 need for work or college instead of having to pay for these harmful ads."
     Edgerly noted that the MTA sought to avoid "real accountability" that
 would result from the information that MCAS provides to parents and taxpayers.
     "Now that over seven billion dollars has been spent as part of the bargain
 on school reform, it would be wrong to remove the graduation requirement,"
 Edgerly said. "Statewide testing provides real accountability and the
 graduation requirement is the cornerstone. Accountability will end the old
 system, where poor education for the disadvantaged was swept under the rug."
     Business for Better Schools is a broad-based coalition comprised of the
 state's leading business organizations, including AeA, Associated Industries
 of Massachusetts, the Greater Boston and North Central Massachusetts Chambers
 of Commerce, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Mass Insight Education,
 the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Massachusetts High Technology
 Council.
     Business for Better Schools strongly believes that minimum education
 standards help students to succeed and that MCAS is a key element in the
 effort to create and maintain standards. Parents, educators, academics and
 political leaders know that equal education for all students depends upon a
 standard curriculum and uniform testing.
     In March, Business for Better Schools kicked off a campaign to support
 education standards as measured by MCAS and oppose any legislative attempt to
 water down or eliminate MCAS as a graduation requirement.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X61238459
 
 SOURCE  Business for Better Schools