Since its inception as the Mobilization for Equity project, funded by the Ford Foundation in the mid-1990s, MAC has worked as an intermediary organization to reform district-wide Boston Public Schools policy. The project informs parents about changes taking place in the schools, trains parents in advocacy and leadership skills, and mobilizes parents and community agencies to address issues related to new policies. This project has enabled parents of color and non-English speaking members of the community to be involved in their children’s education more actively, and has helped them form their own networks with other community members and organizations
Because MAC has earned the respect of school officials, we have unusual access for these networks with members of the School Committee, the Superintendent, and senior staff. The most important of these networks are Community Partners with the New Superintendent, the Latino Education Action Network/ELL Work Group (LEAN), and Voices for Children. We also support the Boston Parent Organizing Network, the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, and the Haitian Education Action and Leadership Network. Through these networks, the project has been instrumental in creating a Deputy Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement position, Family and Community Outreach Coordinators in over 30 schools, increased flexibility in hiring and expanded professional development within the teachers contract, and the current formation of a Task Force on English Language Learners under the Boston School Committee.
At this juncture in the evolution of reform in BPS, these are the critical, timely issues that will be the focus of MAC’s work with our collaborating networks: turnaround schools, BPS-BTU contract, parent engagement and school based management, ELL reform, special education, charter schools, and student assignment and transportation.
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