The facts are clear: Massachusetts must empower schools to close the achievement gap and retain teachers focused on results.

The achievement gap in Massachusetts is alarming. When 60 percent of low-income third graders are not proficient in reading, when African-American and Latino students in our state are more than twice as likely to drop out of school as their white peers, it’s clear the current system isn’t working.

Great Teachers Great Schools is a statewide campaign to ensure every child in Massachusetts has access to an effective teacher. One of the best things we can do to make sure no child is short-changed is to ensure there is a teacher who gets results in every classroom. Great Teachers Great Schools has proposed An Act to Promote Excellence in Public Schools to do just that. This proposed question for the 2012 ballot will bring Massachusetts one step closer to creating vibrant schools statewide, where all students regardless of their background or zip code have a chance to do well.

When enacted, the proposed question will:

  • Ensure public schools put performance first when deciding which teachers to retain.
  • Create clear, consistent and fair guidelines across the Commonwealth for the staffing and retention of teachers.
  • Empower schools to close the achievement gap with a fair and transparent process for assigning and retaining educators focused on results.

No child can afford to spend another minute in a classroom where they are not learning. No school can afford to languish with outdated policies that don’t put performance first and respect educators as professionals.

More than 100,000 Massachusetts residents signed the petition last fall to put this question on the ballot. Before the question is submitted to voters, the Massachusetts state legislature has an opportunity to support the proposed initiative and/or act on an alternate piece that would accomplish the same goals. Join the effort now, sign the pledge and tell lawmakers you support An Act to Promote Excellence in Public Schools today.