Advocacy

UPDATES

 

DESE has released its gifted study report, see details below.

Our gifted education bills had their hearings in June 2019, now the Joint Committees on Education and the Judiciary decide whether to let our bills advance. 

We need to keep our bills and gifted education on their minds!

Please do the following:

 

  • If you have not done so yet, please send an email to the Joint Committee on Education, asking them to support bills H.239/S.277, H.540/S.280, H.541/S.279, H.543/S.276, and S.278.

  • Send your email to all 17 committee members: 

Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov,
Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov,

Joan.Lovely@masenate.gov,
Paul.Tucker@mahouse.gov,
Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov,
adam.hinds@masenate.gov,
julian.cyr@masenate.gov,

Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov
Thomas.Walsh@mahouse.gov,
Jon.Zlotnik@mahouse.gov,
Chynah.Tyler@mahouse.gov,
Bud.Williams@mahouse.gov,
andy.vargas@mahouse.gov,
daniel.carey@mahouse.gov,
richard.haggerty@mahouse.gov,
Kimberly.Ferguson@mahouse.gov,
James.Kelcourse@mahouse.gov

The bills are:

Details on the bills can be found in our summary, and background on adaptive testing (bills H.539/S.277) here.

Gifted Education bills now in state legislature

The following five bills proposed by MAGE are filed in the 2019-2020 Massachusetts legislative session. H.xxx bills are the House bills, S.xxx are the corresponding Senate bills.

THANK YOU to Representatives Naughton and Kelcourse for co-presenting our House bills, Senator DiZoglio for filing the Senate bills (by request), and to the numerous legislators who have signed on as co-sponsors.

Referred to the Joint Committee on Education:

Referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary:

For quick reference, please read the Summaries of each of the bills!

 

THANK YOU also to all gifted education supporters who reached out to their legislators to ask them to co-sponsor these bills! Check here whether your lawmaker co-sponsors.

Please help us bring gifted education to Massachusetts!

If you have not do so yet, please contact your state legislators and ask them to support these bills. Legislators will listen to their constituents. They need to hear from us in order to understand the needs of the state's above-grade and gifted learners!

For more information, please fill out this form or reach out to us here.

Use this link to find out who your State Representative and State Senator are.

 
 

Dear Advocates, Parents, Educators,

This summer is crucial for our chance to advance education for Massachusetts’ gifted and beyond-grade-level children. 

 

To help, please complete these tasks:

1. Write both of your state legislators if you have not yet done so, and ask them to support our bills (or thank those who have supported them). If you have not done so yet, ask to schedule a meeting with them (MAGE advocates will come with you for support), so we can be sure they understand and support our bills. Details on the bills can be found here. Or ask us! 

2. If you have not done so yet, please send an email to the Joint Committee on Education, asking them to support bills H.239/S.277, H.540/S.280, H.541/S.279, H.543/S.276, and S.278.

Please send your email to all 17 committee members

MAGE ADVOCACY

Because Massachusetts is in the bottom few states in the nation for gifted education, our brightest students need our help.

There are no laws, requirements, recommendations, support, or funding for gifted education from the state.

It is no wonder that less than 5% of our school districts have programs for gifted and talented students and many of those are struggling to provide those students with an education that is commensurate with their abilities. 

Therefore, MAGE has a very active advocacy committee.

MAGE Advocacy works on the state level by engaging with:

  • the Massachusetts legislature

  • the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and

  • the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)

We are a team of dedicated volunteers made up of people from all walks of life who care about the education of our state's brightest children. We believe that the state should help these children get an appropriate education. Please join us!

Gifted Study Update

As a result of successful advocacy work in 2017-2018, funding for a gifted study was appropriated by the Massachusetts legislature and signed by Governor Baker. This study has been released in August 2019, see the full report HERE.

" ...provided further, that not less than $50,000 shall be expended by the department to study and report on a policy and practice review, along with a needs assessment, regarding education in the public schools, of the children who are capable of achieving beyond the age-based grades and those who are gifted as defined by federal law;.." 

From the Conclusions of the report:

"The current approach of Massachusetts, with few gifted programs and not much attention to gifted education, is not serving students well. The Commonwealth can and should take actions to make certain that all students, including advanced and gifted students of all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic characteristics, have opportunities to engage in meaningful learning and rise to their potential. Massachusetts will benefit from unleashing the untapped potential of high-achieving students.

As should be clear, Massachusetts is an outlier in the country in its hands-off approach to identifying and serving gifted students."

The report issues the following conclusions:

"Create a statewide task force, which will;

  • Define giftedness and measures to assess giftedness;

  • Determine most effective way to collect data on gifted students;

  • Consider best practices of other states and districts;

  • Establish state policy and guidelines on acceleration;

  • Track and report on the excellence gap; identify and implement strategies to close it.

  • Include instruction on the learning needs of gifted students as part of teacher training for all teachers; and

  • Hire staff at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with expertise in gifted students and gifted education."

These findings and recommendations are highly consistent with MAGE's bills in the legislature!

All of these recommendations and findings substantiate what MAGE has known for a long time.

 

Now we have to make sure that action takes place to make these recommendations a reality. 

You can help! Call, email, and/or visit your legislators a.s.a.p. For information on the bills, see above.

 

Thank you to all of you who sent their input to the study researcher!

 

Thank you for making your voice heard! Now make sure your legislators know about this study, from you!

 

Federal Law Highlight

ESSA Creates Opportunities for Parent Advocates

For the first time in history, our main U.S. education law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in December 2015, now includes provisions that support gifted and talented students.

There are specific enumerated provisions to support gifted and talented learners in both Title I and Title II of ESSA.

Administrators may not be aware of these provisions yet, your teachers and educators may need to be educated about these new requirements and allowable uses of funds.

  • Title I funds may be used to support eligible Title I gifted and talented learners.

  • Title II money must be used to help teachers support gifted and talented students.

  • For a full explanation of these new provisions, please read this summary.

For general Q&A, as well as specific provisions, please visit these links:

If you are interested in improving education for bright,

gifted and advanced students in Massachusetts,

JOIN US!

The next Advocacy Group Meeting takes place on Wednesday December 18th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 38 Lovett Road, Newton, MA.

Online participation via Zoom is welcome. For the meeting link, to join our mailing list, or any other advocacy questions, please contact advocacy@massgifted.org

Future meetings will be held monthly, usually on the third Wednesday of the month.

Next: December 18th, 2019, January 15th, February 19th, March 18th, 2020

 
 

Resources and Data Collections (for full reports, click on links):

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

MAGE is a 501c3 organization

Our email address is admin@massgifted.org

Our office is at 505 Pinewood Dr. Longmeadow, MA 01106

Our office phone number is 413-224-8807 (Hours M-F 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)