MAC uses a broad range of strategies to get results and change the conditions that limit children’s opportunities. These strategies include building coalitions, helping empower parents and community leaders, providing technical assistance and training, conducting case advocacy, advocating at the administrative and legislative levels, writing reports and, when necessary, litigating.
MAC acts to hold public institutions accountable and prioritizes systems change in order to have the greatest impact affecting the most children. But through its intake, case advocacy and trainings, MAC also works to assure that the needs of individual children are met.
MAC’s greatest strength as a highly effective advocacy organization is its multi-strategic approach. Not only do we use each of the strategies listed above in the first paragraph, but we use them in combination.
For example, our intake and advocacy for individual families provides the foundation of our legislative and administrative advocacy, as well as our decisions to choose a litigation response. Coalition-building and community collaborations enable us to be more effective when we advocate with legislators and school officials. And policy analysis and research are not done in isolation, but in the context of the development of strategies to provide remedies to the problems and issues that have been uncovered.
Current Strategic Directions
1. Continue to conduct multi-strategic, in-depth advocacy in the following current programmatic areas, with increased internal coordination:
- Statewide special education through the Disability Education Justice Initiative, with a particular focus on children with autism, the Special Education Collaborative, and Somerville;
- Boston School Reform
- Statewide legal services, through our Children's Law Support Project Helpline and advocacy and support role for the Massachusetts legal services system; and
- The educational needs of students exposed to traumatic experiences, through the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative.
2. Create a new programmatic effort to advocate for improvements in special education in the Boston Public Schools
3. Improve MAC’s capacity to serve new immigrant and non-English speaking communities