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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Joint Letter from Massachusetts Heads of Church on the Executive Action Suspending Refugee Resettlement

A Joint Letter from Massachusetts Heads of Church on the Executive Action Suspending Refugee Resettlement
"Our Increased Compassion, Not Our Hardened Hearts"

A Joint Letter from Massachusetts Heads of Church on the Executive Action Suspending Refugee Resettlement

We speak together, as Church leaders in Massachusetts, on the injurious Executive Action restricting refugees, issued on Friday January 27, 2017 entitled, "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States."

Our Christian tradition is clear. Deuteronomy 10:19 commands, "You shall also love the foreigner, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt."  The Holy Family was forced to flee the violence of their homeland (Matthew 2). Our Savior was a migrant. We hear Jesus Christ declare in Matthew 25 that His followers will be judged if we do not welcome the stranger. We stand under that judgment today.

We believe in the aspirations of our nation, a place where all people long to live in safety. We remember with horror our nation's decision in 1939 to refuse the refugees on the MS St. Louis, a ship of German Jews, condemning many to death. Refugees invite our increased compassion, not our hardened hearts.

We echo the words of Bishop Joe Vasquez of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

"We believe in assisting all those who are vulnerable and fleeing persecution, regardless of their religion. This includes Christians, as well as Yazidis and Shia Muslims from Syria, Rohingyas from Burma, and other religious minorities. However, we need to protect all our brothers and sisters of all faiths, including Muslims, who have lost family, home, and country."

We grieve this decision to limit refugees, as it will cause further suffering, not just to our fellow Christians escaping persecution, but all refugees fleeing violence.

As Christians we try to live our lives in accordance with Jesus' Great Commandment - to love our neighbors as ourselves. We want safe homes, the freedom to worship, stable governments, and opportunities to thrive. Refugees desire the same. Our nation is founded on this welcome. We must make sure that we do not allow fear to overwhelm us, crowd out our compassion, or fundamentally change our character.

Therefore, we pledge our voices and our churches' active support to resettle refugees in Massachusetts.

We call on elected leaders, including President Trump, to reconsider the Executive Action to limit refugee resettlement.

We have and will continue to welcome and support refugees. Our churches are in every single city and town of Massachusetts.
And, we ask our churches to reach out in love and Christian hospitality to the refugees living near them. We encourage our churches to show compassion and support to those who have fled hardship and violence.

Signed:
  • The Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America

  • The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Minister and President, Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ

  • Mr. Anthony Barsamian, President, Massachusetts Council of Churches

  • Reverend Howard K. Burgoyne, Superintendent, East Coast Conference, Evangelical Covenant Church

  • Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River

  • Reverend Dr. Harold M. Delhagen, Synod Leader/Executive for The Synod of the Northeast, Presbyterian Church (USA)

  • Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, Bishop, United Methodist Church, New England Conference

  • Reverend Laura Everett, Executive Director, Massachusetts Council of Churches

  • The Rt. Rev. Douglas Fisher, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts

  • The Rt. Rev. Alan Gates, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

  • The Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris, Bishop Suffragan, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

  • Bishop Jim Hazelwood, New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

  • Reverend Jocelyn Hart Lovelace, Presiding Elder, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Boston-Hartford District

  • His Grace Bishop John, Diocese of Worcester and New England, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

  • Reverend Mary Day Miller, Executive Minister, The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts

  • Noah Merrill, Secretary & Frederick Weiss, Presiding Clerk, New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers) 

  • Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts

Raise Up Massachusetts Campaigns for Paid Leave, $15 Minimum Wage

Raise Up Massachusetts Launches Legislative Campaigns for Paid Leave, $15 Minimum Wage, and the Fair Share Amendment
BOSTON – Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of community organizations, religious groups, and labor unions, today launched its 2017 legislative campaigns for paid family and medical leave, a $15 minimum wage for all workers, and the Fair Share Amendment to create an additional tax of four percentage points on annual income above one million dollars, with the money dedicated to transportation and public education.
At a legislative briefing on Beacon Hill, policy experts and people who are affected by Raise Up Massachusetts’ campaigns spoke about how the agenda would help build an economy that works for all people in Massachusetts.
"Our broad coalition of community, faith, and labor groups is committed to building an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the top,” said Deb Fastino, Executive Director of the Coalition for Social Justice and a co-chair of Raise Up Massachusetts. “With our campaigns for paid leave, a $15 minimum wage, and the Fair Share Amendment, we're building an economy that invests in families, gives everyone the opportunity to succeed, and creates broadly shared prosperity. With everything that’s happening at the national level, this work has never been more important."

Paid Family and Medical Leave (HD2573/SD1768)
Raise Up Massachusetts’ paid leave legislation would make employees in Massachusetts eligible for job-protected paid leave to recover from a serious illness or injury, to care for a seriously ill or injured family member, or to care for a new child. The legislation prohibits employer retaliation against workers who take time off under these conditions.
“If I had paid family leave when my wonderful husband was dying of lung cancer, I could have stayed home, given him comfort, and advocated for what he needed,” said Christine Lavault of Fairhaven. “He would not have had to suffer like that. When families have a crisis they should be able to take care of their loved ones without fearing loss of finances or their jobs.”
Employees taking paid leave would receive partial wage replacement equal to a percentage of their average weekly wages, with a maximum weekly benefit of either $650 or $1,000. Paid leave would last up to either 12 or 16 weeks to care for a seriously ill or injured family member or to bond with a new child (family leave), and up to 26 weeks for an employee’s own serious illness or injury (medical leave).
“No one should have to choose between a paycheck and their own health or the wellbeing of their families,” said Senate Committee on Ways and Means Chair Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), the lead sponsor of paid leave legislation in the Senate. “Paid leave is a common sense benefit that workers in nearly every other country in the world receive. Most working families cannot afford unpaid leave - we may need to take time off from work, but our financial obligations don’t ever take time off.  We have also heard from many Massachusetts businesses that it is in their competitive best interest to offer paid leave, in order to attract and retain the most talented workers.”
“I am excited about this bill because it’s good for everyone – it’s good for families, it’s good for workers, and it’s good for small businesses,” said Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford), the lead sponsor of paid leave legislation in the House.  “This program would allow employers who have workers on leave for inevitable situations to replace them at a neutral cost, either through a replacement temporary worker or additional hours for current employees.”
Benefits would be funded through employer premium contributions to the new Family and Employment Security Trust Fund or to private insurance plans. Both bills would allow employers to require employees to contribute up to 50% of the cost of premiums. The bills phase in over a few years, create a one-week waiting period before employees can receive benefits, use existing agencies for administration and enforcement, and allow companies to keep existing plans, all of which reduce costs.
"Today, 87% of workers in New England lack access to paid leave. Many workers risk losing their job if they take time off from work to care for a family medical emergency or after the birth of a child. Even workers with access to job-protected leave face financial hardship if they have to leave the job that puts food on the table to care for a family member they love," said Elizabeth Toulan, a Senior Attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services. "With this bill, Massachusetts can join a growing number of states that offer paid leave so that no one has to choose between their job and their health or that of a family member."

$15 Minimum Wage (HD2719/SD984)
Raise Up Massachusetts’ $15 minimum wage legislation, HD2719 (filed by Rep. Dan Donahue) and SD984 (filed by Sen. Ken Donnelly), would raise the state’s minimum wage by $1 each year over four years until it is $15 an hour in 2021. The minimum wage would then be adjusted each year to rise along with increases in the cost of living.
"I love my work taking care of children and helping prepare them for a lifetime of learning, but it’s hard to get by on such low pay. Between groceries, rent, heat, and gas, it’s tough to keep up every month," said Marites MacLean, a family child care provider who owns and operates Children First family child care in Fitchburg. "If I made $15 an hour, I'd be better able to support myself and my family. Imagine how much it would help local businesses and our economy if all low-wage workers had more money to spend in our communities."
“Raising the minimum wage is one of the most important actions we can take as legislators to help the working people of Massachusetts,” said Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington), the lead sponsor of $15 minimum wage legislation in the Senate. “This is an issue worth fighting for and I look forward to working with everyone to get this crucial bill passed.”
“When workers have more money in their pockets, they spend it at small businesses in their neighborhoods – helping those local businesses grow and create more jobs,” said Representative Dan Donahue (D-Worcester), the lead sponsor of $15 minimum wage legislation in the House. “If we want economic growth in all communities across the state, workers need to earn a living wage so they can provide for their families and support their local businesses. Raising the minimum wage is critical if we want to help working people and grow our economy from the bottom up.”
Increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2021 would raise the wages of roughly 947,000 workers, or 29 percent of the state’s workforce, according to a report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. 91 percent of workers who would be affected are over 20 years old, 56 percent are woman, and 57 percent work full-time. Workers who are paid low wages include highly skilled professions, like nursing assistants, childcare providers and paramedics.
The legislation would also increase the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, currently $3.75 an hour, over 8 years until it is equal to the regular minimum wage.
“The sub-minimum wage for tipped workers leaves servers at diners, pubs and pancake houses; hairdressers; car wash staff; airport wheelchair and parking attendants; valets and other tipped workers facing financial uncertainty, and relying on tips makes them vulnerable to harassment and discrimination," said Marisol Santiago, the Massachusetts Executive Director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United. According to a recent ROC report, over 90% of female restaurant workers experience sexual harassment, and the industry that produces the most complaints and violations, according to the EEOC and DOL, is the restaurant industry. “We should join the eight other states, from California to Maine, that have eliminated the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, without seeing any harm to restaurants or a reduction in tipping.”

Fair Share Amendment
The Fair Share Amendment would amend the Massachusetts Constitution to create an additional tax of four percentage points on annual income above $1 million. The new revenue generated by the tax, approximately $1.9 billion in 2019 dollars, could only be spent on quality public education, affordable public colleges and universities, and the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges, and public transportation.  To ensure that the tax continues to apply only to the highest-income residents, the $1 million threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases.
"We're one of the richest states in the nation, but we rank 33rd in the share of our state's economic resources dedicated to public education,” said Tom Gosnell, President of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts. “We need the Fair Share Amendment to make critical investments in education from early childhood through college."
“For Massachusetts to address congestion and daily commuter frustration and to compete in tomorrow’s economy against other regions around the nation and the globe, we need to invest in modern, reliable transportation: safer roads and bridges, public transportation that works for everyone all around the state, and safer ways to walk and bike,” said Josh Ostroff, Interim Director of Transportation for Massachusetts. “Today, our transportation network is still stuck in the last century, with a large backlog of neglected and obsolete bridges, roads, bikeways, and public transportation infrastructure in need of repair. Reform is essential, but it’s not enough to meet the proven need. If we don’t provide the funding soon to deal with these problems, they will only get more dangerous and more expensive to solve in the future.”
“The MTA is proud to be a part of the RUM coalition and to fight for workers, families and students in Massachusetts. This work has never been more important given the attacks coming from Washington,” said Barbara Madeloni, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA). “Passage of the Fair Share Amendment will give our public schools and colleges the resources they need to meet the broad and complex needs of all of our students, as well as provide much-needed improvements to public transportation.”
In 2015, Raise Up Massachusetts collected over 157,000 signatures to begin the process of amending the Massachusetts Constitution, all without using paid signature gathering companies. In May 2016, the state legislature, meeting jointly in a Constitutional Convention, voted 135-57 to advance the citizen’s initiative proposal. The initiative now needs a second approval by 25 percent of legislators in a Joint Session of the Legislature in 2017 or 2018 to appear on the ballot on November 6, 2018.
“A second affirmative vote in the Constitutional Convention will give voters the opportunity to generate new revenue for transportation and public education, which we need to ensure opportunity for our citizens," said Peter Enrich, a Professor of Law at Northeastern University and one of the drafters of the Fair Share Amendment. "The Fair Share Amendment will pay for those critical investments with a more equitable tax that simply asks our wealthiest residents to pay at a level more comparable to the rest of us.”

Monday, January 30, 2017

西班牙裔移民之子宣佈參選麻州州長


            (Boston Orange整理報導)麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)2018年競選連任,出現了第一位正式挑戰者。曾在派屈克(Deval Patrick)州長任內監管麻州營運預算的龔沙雷(Jay Gonzalez)130日宣佈要爭取成為民主黨州長候選人,

龔沙雷暗示,他將把查理貝克和去年11月在麻州輸得很慘,這一星期以來,不斷有人上街抗議他的美國總統川普連起來。他說,川普損害了人們的價值觀,將把人們帶回頭。現在比以往任何時候都更需要一名能夠為大家的價值觀站出來爭取的州長,他要當那個州長。

他認為查理貝克太滿足於現狀,經常在人們需要他時靠邊站,一直都是個等等看的州長。

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龔沙雷的競選顧問Sydney Asbury表示,龔沙雷是一名西班牙裔移民之子,反對川普的移民禁令,參加了柯普利廣場的示威遊行。

2010年時為派屈克競選連任作競選經理的Sydney Asbury表示,龔沙雷將以包容,社會及經濟不平等,讓所有34歲的小孩上幼稚園學前班等等為競選綱要。

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            另一名可能的麻州州長候選人是牛頓市市長塞提華崙(Setti Warren)。民主黨籍的塞提華崙去年就已開始為可能競選州長展開募款活動了。他也聘請了派屈克以前的助理,John Walsh做顧問,以抬高聲勢。他上星期也就川普的移民禁令,州議員們的加薪,麻州營運預算,查理貝克的州情咨文等發表聲明。

龔沙雷現年46歲,已婚,住在Needham。他曾經擔任布魯克蘭鎮(Brookline)鎮議員,麻州健康連繫者(Mass Health Connector)董事會主席,以及麻州生命科學中心共同主席。

2007年時,他是派屈克第一批聘用的人之一,從Edwads Angell Palmer & Dodge律師樓離職,出任麻州資金財務及州政府內部事務助理署長 (assistant secretary for capital finance and intergovernmental affairs)2009年接任行政及財務署署長。

20131月他從州政府離職,隨後宣佈獲麻州的醫療計畫公司CeltiCare聘用。一年後他成為該機構執行長,上個月卸任。

            查理貝克早前曾透露有意於2018年時競選連任。在財務上,他的實力很強。截至115日,他的競選財庫中還有470萬元。人們相信,他還有共和黨全國黨部這靠山。2014年他和瑪莎寇克莉(Martha Coakley)競爭時,共和黨州長協會就曾注資1100萬元。

中華公所選舉小組將提案屏退黃光野

            (Boston Orange 周菊子報導)紐英崙中華公所2017年要大地震? 131日晚舉行的2017年開年董事會,將討論是否取消黃光野顧問銜,永遠禁止他擔任公所董事的提案,嚴重程度前所未有。

            紐英崙中華公所的20171月董事大會議程,在例行的通過上一次會議紀錄,主席及各小組報告之外,還包括介紹新董事,填補各小組委員席位空缺。

            小組報告部分預先透露了中華公所計畫和波士頓華人佈道會(BCEC),戴維斯(Davis)發展公司合作,聯袂向波士頓市政府申請指定計畫發展區(designation of planned Development Area)資格,以期把目前出租給中國超市公司的喜露街50號,建成包括可負擔住宅的大樓。

            選舉/修章小組報告將包括修正有關中華公所職員任期,以及投票權的議程,透露出中華公所已在為年底幹部改選做準備。

            議程中有關選舉小組提案取消黃光野顧問銜,永遠禁止黃光野擔任僑團出席中華公所董事代表的提案,

            紐英崙中華公所主席陳家驊在發給公所董事們的主席報告中指出,選舉/章程小組在110日小組會議中,無異議的通過了兩項議案,一為建議中華公所董事大會取消黃光野的顧問頭銜,二為建議大會禁止黃光野代表任何僑團擔任出席中華公所董事大會代表,為期10年或永久。

            陳家驊在交給麻州總檢察官辦公室的季度報告,點明了選舉/章程小組作此提案的主要原因。

            該報告在有關營運及管理的需要注意事項中指出,去年726日,在擔任中華公所主席期間,簽署中國超市(C-Mart)租約的黃光野,出人意外地在中華公所董事大會中質疑,為什麼中國超市的年租漲幅那麼小,他以為應該是5%才對,一定是合約打錯字了。由於簽署租約的黃光野本人竟然也那麼不清楚租約內容,中華公所董事大會因此指派了三人小組根據會議紀錄來研究董事大會有關租約的決定,以及黃光野實際簽署的租約內容。

            董事鄭慧民代表該小組在9月份的中華公所董事會議中回報,基本上中華公所董事大會所理解並同意的租約和黃光野所簽署的租約,有差距。首先是租金每平方呎19.5元,隔壁的平價市場付的租金卻是每平方呎23元。平價市場沒有停車位,中國超市在喜露街50號那兒,有26個停車位,卻不知是因為甚麼理由,沒有算進租金內。

此外,新租約是在舊約到期日之前的14個月就簽了。這一匆促加簽租約,固然是因為承租戶想要翻修承租地,但若無長約就不願這麼做,但是新簽的租約中卻沒有租戶需做翻修的相關條文,黃光野說服董事大會提前續約該做的那些翻修,也迄今不見蹤影。此外,出席同意簽約那次董事大會的董事們以為,只要提前6個月給通知,就可隨時收回喜露街50號另作發展。然而,合約中的條文卻是在第一個10年之後,給6個月通知。

再者,租約打出10年的說法,但實際上卻是20年的租約,業者有權在第一個10年結束後,才有權因為要做新發展而結束合約。

黃光野允諾會在簽約前,給出一份合約最後版本,讓公所董事大會批准,但卻未如此做。不但如此,黃光野還在很長的一段時間裏,拒絕拿出一份他簽署的合約給公所董事。也因此公所董事不能夠馬上知道實際的合約條款。

            根據中華公所發給董事們的開會資料,中華公所選舉小組還在小組會議中討論了是否聘請行政主任,特別活動籌辦人,巡邏隊負責人,以期更有效率的處理中華公所事務,意味著中華公所在資金充裕後,有意轉型成為更專業的社區服務機構。

2016 Thiel Fellow 中有5名華裔


(Boston Orange 周菊子整理報導)泰爾(Thiel)基金會鼓勵年輕人追求學校以外的創新發展,發給每人10萬元獎金的"泰爾學者"項目,2016年有來自世界各地的6000人申請,共29人獲選。從姓名看,其中有5名華裔,3人來自麻州。

泰爾基金會董事長Blake Masters表示,泰爾獎學金創立於2011年,旨在測試一個簡單理論,那就是大學院校並不適合每一個人,尤其是想要創造新事物的年輕人。他表示,過去這些年來的泰爾獎學金獲得者的成功,申請人數的每年遞增,以及越來越多的年輕人在大學院校以外創造了他們自己的事業軌道,已證明了這一點。

截至20166月,泰爾學者所創建公司的市值已達14億美元。

2016年的29名泰爾學者中,約5人為華裔,包括加州山景的安東尼張(譯音,Anthony Zhang),麻州劍橋市的伊娃尚(譯音,Eva Shang),格蕾絲蕭(譯音,Grace Xiao),舊金山的亨利胡(譯音,Henry Hu),加拿大多倫多的詹姆斯孫(譯音,James Sun)

Anthony Zhang與人合作,創辦了EnvoyNow這家外賣遞送服務公司,並出任執行長。該公司以大專院校為主要重點,藉招聘住校學生為工作人員,EnvoryNow可把食物直接送進宿舍,課堂,或是研讀室,而且比任何一家靠地圖軟體來支援遞送服務的公司更快,更準確。

Eva Shang 和人合作,創辦了Legalist這家法律分析及提醒平台公司,幫助律師關注案件的新發展,以俾律師們能更有效率的代表他們的客戶。

Grace Xiao Raul Jordan合作,創辦了Kynplex這家通訊軟體公司,為科學實驗室提供通訊工具。藉著連接各自做片斷研究的科學世界,Kynplex旨在加速發現的速度。

Henry Hu原籍北京,和人合作創辦Café X,並出任執行長。這是家設計,生產並由機器人做自動化經營的餐廳,可在10秒內做出本地烤的咖啡。

James Sun和人合作創辦Revlo,並擔任執行長。Revol是一家社交遊戲公司,提供了平台讓播放者Twitch這遊戲可以更容易地和所有粉絲互動,並打賞。

泰爾學者中還有一名亞裔,根據姓氏看應為越南裔的Brian Truong。他和人合作創辦了Hello Token這家企業軟體公司,容許數位出版者藉著刊出簡單的市場研究問題,而不需要靠廣告,就能以內容賺取10倍或更多收入。Hello Token已創建了可向數以百萬計人做實時語境研究的引擎。

MIRA譴責川普移民禁令

MIRA Condemms the Executive Order on Refugees and Muslims

Boston - The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) strongly condemns President Trump’s latest Executive Order on immigration issued on Friday. The order suspends America’s refugee program for 120 days, suspends our refugee program in Syria indefinitely, and suspends all visas for people from seven predominately Muslim countries for at least 90 days. While we are not surprised by this order, we are appalled that this administration would so quickly, and without any consultation with stakeholders, issue an order that amounts to an attack on some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.

“This Executive Order is a repudiation of our nation’s long tradition of providing protection to those fleeing violence and terror throughout the world, as well as of our ideals of civil rights and religious inclusion,” said Eva Millona, Executive Director of MIRA. “We believe that America is the land of opportunity for all, not just some. We are heartened that thousands have stood up in the last few days here in Boston and around the country to support refugees and immigrants who contribute so much to the fabric of our nation. These outpourings of love and support demonstrate most truly who we are as a country. Here in Massachusetts, we don’t just talk. We stand up, we organize, we advocate, we litigate, and we march.  MIRA, our members and our allies are committed to advancing and strengthening the movement that protects our people, our values and our Constitution."

波市公校撥款200萬助四五年級學生精進學業

BPS Bolsters Commitment to Excellence For All,
The Groundbreaking Program that is Expanding Educational Opportunities to Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Students
Boston, MA - Monday, January 30, 2017 - The Boston Public Schools (BPS) is strengthening its commitment to Excellence For All in the 2017-18 school year by increasing its investment to $2 million in this groundbreaking initiative that offers students in the fourth and fifth grade rigorous instruction and enriched learning opportunities.

BPS launched Excellence For All (EFA) at the start of this school year with the aim of expanding opportunities for all students to access the same demanding coursework and quality enrichments provided in Advanced Work Class (AWC), a full-time program with an accelerated academic curriculum that has traditionally been open only to those students who score high enough on a standardized test given in October of third grade.

"The goal of Excellence For All is to close achievement gaps at an early age by ensuring all students in general education and inclusive settings have the same opportunities to challenging and enriched learning," Mayor Martin J. Walsh said. "The schools participating in the Excellence for All initiative have student populations that mirror or exceed the district averages for black, Latino, english learners, and special-needs populations, which were underserved by the AWC program."

BPS last year committed $1.2 million to develop and implement Excellence For All to serve 875 fourth-grade students at the 13 schools where it is being piloted. The district will increase that funding in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget by an additional $715,000 to support the expansion of the program to a new grade of students. Next year, Excellence For All will reach 4th-grade and, for the first time, 5th-grade students in those 13 schools - doubling the number of students served by the program.  

Those 13 schools include ten that never offered AWC (the Mendell, Sumner, Holmes, Philbrick, Grew, Guild, Gardner, Harvard/Kent, Orchard Gardens, and King) and three schools (the Curley, Edison and Bates) that previously had AWC but elected to switch to Excellence for All.

"Excellence For All is ensuring that fourth- and fifth-grade students can successfully engage rigorous curriculum and learn at high levels in inclusive classrooms. It is giving many of our young students a more compelling educational experience that previously they would never have had access to," BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang said. "This will put them on a better pathway to academic success by instilling in them a true belief in their ability to take on challenging work."

Excellence for All schools offers students many of the same quality enrichment opportunities afforded to AWC students. EFA students can begin to learn languages such as Spanish, French, Chinese and Japanese. They will also be exposed to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) instruction through a LEGO Education robotics course that teaches computer coding skills. And they will have the opportunity to attend the Northeastern University Center for STEM Education.

The demographics of students served by EFA match or exceed the district's percentages of key subgroups that are currently underrepresented by Advanced Work classes. For example, black students, who represent 30 percent of the district's fourth graders, made up 33 percent of the students in EFA compared to 11 percent of students in AWC. Meanwhile, students with disabilities, who account for 21 percent of the fourth-grade students in BPS, represented 24 percent of the students in EFA versus 1 percent in AWC.

"EFA is an important step towards equity in our district. It is rooted in the belief that all students have a right to a challenging and enriching educational experience. Within that paradigm, it is our job as educators to provide the conditions in which all populations can thrive," said Regine Philippeaux-Pierre, the BPS project manager of Excellence For All.

Dr. Chang stressed that Excellence For All is also providing valuable coaching models, instructional strategies and professional development to its teachers in order to better support them in offering their students more rigorous instruction and personalized learning in safe-learning environments. For example,

  • 70 teachers at EFA schools have received professional development to teach writing skills specifically to students who are English Learners.
  • 36 Grade 4 and 5 teachers are participating in a year-long institute at Harvard University on "Universal Design for Learning," a new approach for developing rigorous instruction that meets the needs of all learners.
  • 12 teachers are receiving intensive math coaching and training through a partnership with EdVestors, a non-profit school improvement organization.
  • 8 teachers are participating in professional development training in executive functioning designed to teach students organizational and study habits to help them be successful, independent learners.

Katie Grassa, principal of the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain, said that by moving to Excellence For All at the fourth-grade level  - the school still has AWC for existing students in fifth and sixth grades - it has had a positive impact on students' confidence.  

"I have noticed an improvement in students' self esteem and their view of themselves as learners, thanks to Excellence for All," said Grassa. "Students who had not "tested" into AWC are given the same opportunities as those accepted into AWC, and we are now seeing some of those very students reading at the highest levels as their AWC-accepted peers.'"

###


TESTIMONIALS:

"The 'Excellence for All' program was the answer to our family's dilemma. Our daughter tested into the Advanced Work Program, but was reluctant to leave the school that she loves and has attended since first grade. With the EFA program, she was able to stay at the Sumner, and still receive the benefit of being exposed to a tailored and challenging curriculum."   - Lisa Conley, mother of Lila Jane Conley, a 4th-grader at the Charles Sumner Elementary School.

"I am really excited that August has the opportunity to study robotics and engineering at this age and that August and the other students seemed so engaged in these new projects. Robotics is one of the few subjects that he's willingly volunteered information about what he learned that day and it's always exciting to talk about what cool new thing they are working on." - Bridget Colvin, mother of August Shenk, a 4th-grader at the Mendell Elementary School.


Excellence For All Cohort 1 Demographics Data
This table illustrates the percentages of students, by DESE-designated subgroups, in Excellence For All, Advanced Work Class and the district as a whole. It is for the 2016-17 school year.

Subgroup
EFA Cohort
AWC Grade 4
BPS Grade 4
Black
33%
11%
30%
Hispanic
50%
24%
47%
White
11%
24%
11%
Asian
6%
35%
8.7%
Students with Disabilities
24%
1%
21%
English Language Learners
39%
10%
34%

Sunday, January 29, 2017

中華民俗藝術工作坊春聚  餐敘拜年紅包抽獎樣樣來


中華民俗藝術工作坊春聚  餐敘拜年紅包抽獎樣樣來



駐波士頓臺北經濟文化辦事處處長賴銘琪伉儷向大家拜年賀歲
紐英崙中華民俗藝術工作坊(CFAW)128日大年初一晚間在ACAS中心舉辦雞年春聚,現場布置春聯、燈籠、鞭炮和許多雞年飾物,充滿濃濃年味,全團家長學員及教師近200人參加,場面熱鬧歡欣;駐波士頓臺北經濟文化辦事處處長賴銘琪伉儷、組長陳珮瑩夫婦、副組長林美呈及僑教中心主任歐宏偉夫婦也應邀出席,共襄盛舉。

賴銘琪對CFAW的春聚餐會大為讚賞,他表示來波服務已參加過兩次該團的新春活動,尤其是家長所準備的美食,已在波士頓地區排名前兩名,也代表中華民國政府向大家拜年賀歲;歐宏偉也肯定CFAW多年來在主流社會推展臺灣多元優質文化的貢獻,特別感謝全團在今年僑教中心主辦的元旦升旗典禮活動的協助,獲得所有僑社各界人士一致好評。

波士頓僑教中心主任歐宏偉夫婦(右二及左二)感謝CFAW的支持
與協助,與活動主持人吳宇懷(左一)、楊泓儀(右一)合影。
當晚餐敘由高年級團員負責接待服務,讓與會人士盡情享用臺灣美食,團長張昆及黃美琴夫婦也依循傳統安排青少年團員向父母親拜年、領取紅包,並穿插抽獎活動,讓華裔第二代子弟瞭解我國優良傳統節慶文化,並傳承孝親敬師的精神意涵。(圖與文,波士頓僑教中心提供)


CFAW春聚活動安排團員向父母親拜年

CFAW團員向團長張昆夫婦()拜年

團長張昆夫婦()與高年級團員合影

高年級團員負責餐敘接待服務

高年級團員負責餐敘接待服務
高年級團員負責餐敘接待服務


高年級團員負責餐敘接待服務

紐英崙專協新春燈謎 八大僑團共襄盛舉


紐英崙專協新春燈謎 八大僑團共襄盛舉



餐會主持人王世輝醫師()感謝八大僑團與專業人員協會共同
舉辦新春燈謎餐會。
紐英崙中華專業人員協會於128日中午舉辦新春聚會及年度燈謎活動,該會理事長蔡明機致詞歡迎僑社成大、臺大、建中、北一女等校友會以及玉山科技協會、新英格蘭大波士頓臺灣商會、華美福利會、客家鄉親會等八大僑團共同合辦,並邀請駐波士頓臺北經濟文化辦事處副處長陳銘俊及僑教中心主任歐宏偉等貴賓致詞,向與會人士賀節,歐宏偉也請與會的九大僑團共同籌組波士頓地區僑界關懷救助協會,以整合僑社資源及展現僑胞愛心,讓僑胞、留學生及旅外國人感受僑胞的關懷;隨後由該會董事長王世輝醫師主持新春趣味節目,並致贈雞年郵票組予各僑團負責人。

僑教中心主任歐宏偉在餐會中說明僑委會
致贈雞年手提燈籠「圓滿雞」具備「圓滿
如意」、「鴻圖大展」、「生生不息、
永續發展」的意涵。
當天重頭戲猜燈謎依循往例由「專協才子」袁尚賢出題及主持,他先介紹以「斷章取義」、「歪打正著」、「牽強附會」、「力求典雅」、「切忌犯面」等5項原則猜謎;今年全部20題燈謎全數猜出,由僑教中心主任歐宏偉猜中5題奪冠;最後也舉辦抽獎活動,歐宏偉也提供僑委會今年的雞年小提燈作為摸彩獎項,並說明「圓滿雞」燈籠「圓滿如意」、「鴻圖大展」、「生生不息、永續發展」的意涵。(圖與文,波士頓僑教中心提供)