An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano 7th Congressional District of Massachusetts
October 10, 2014
Citizens for Public Schools
I met Monday with Citizens for Public Schools, a statewide educational organization that focuses on a comprehensive approach to learning. Citizens for Public Schools is concerned about an over-emphasis on high stakes testing and advocates for a broader method of educating students. I have long been concerned with the impact of standardized testing on public education. While certainly an important and necessary component of any curriculum, it should be balanced with other methods of assessing student learning. We talked about the role that No Child Left Behind has had on the expansion of standardized testing and what may be on the agenda when Congress returns in November.
I had a great visit Wednesday with a group of YouthBuild students who are working on acquiring the skills necessary to become carpenters. YouthBuild offers young people between the ages of 14 and 24 the opportunity to learn a building trade. This gives program participants a specialized skill that will help them obtain employment. I also visited a work site in Roxbury that YouthBuild is managing in partnership with Madison Park High School, the Carpenters Union and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Students are building a home that, once completed, will add to the city’s affordable housing stock. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm of students and staff, as well as with the quality of work being done. I look forward to a return visit to tour the completed home.
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
I met also with staff from the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), one of YouthBuild’s community partners. DSNI focuses on strengthening the Dudley Street neighborhood through partnerships with other non-profit organizations, area businesses and residents. By giving the community a voice in the process, DSNI has had success revitalizing parcels of land and attracting new development. We talked about some of the projects that the DSNI is currently working on as well as future initiatives. I appreciated their time and thanked staff for their dedication.
Yesterday I met with members of the Chinatown Coalition to talk about the work their members are doing in the Chinatown neighborhood. The coalition is open to any organization or individual interested in serving the community. The coalition acts as a forum for the exchange of ideas as well as resources. I learned about some of the Chinatown Coalition’s upcoming initiatives and talked with members about the possibility of Congress passing comprehensive immigration reform. We also talked about affordable housing and community preservation efforts. I toured the Kwong Kow Chinese School, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year. The school offers language classes and civics lessons for first generation children. I learned about a new program educators started for middle school students to help them prepare for Exam School testing. The program began last year and so far has a 100% success rate with students.
Congressman Mike Capuano
7th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Ethics
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services
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110 First Street, Cambridge
Roxbury Community College Campus Library, Room 211, Boston
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