May 19, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Boston, MA – The former history teacher who spearheaded the campaign that defeated a charter-school expansion measure last fall is almost certain to become the Boston Teachers Union’s next president.
BTU organizing director Jessica Tang, 35, is running unopposed in the June 7 election to succeed retiring president Richard Stutman. She was a key force in the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance, the grass-roots movement against the Question 2 ballot initiative, which would have allowed charter schools to expand by up to 1% of the state’s total public-school enrollment each year. Tang told the Boston Herald that her top priorities would be winning a contract that includes lower class sizes and more support for special-education classes—Boston’s public-school teachers have been working under an expired contract since August—and working with parents and students on broader social-justice issues. “Policy should be made bottom-up, not top-down. It’s parents, students and families who know what the needs are,” she said. “My track record has been one of collaboration but I’m also a fighter. When we need to fight, I’ll fight back.” Read More