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Parents should enter the debate over "School Choice Week"

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by Karran Harper Royal, Parents Across America- New Orleans This week is being promoted as “School Choice Week” by the supporters of charter school expansion.  They have chosen a video interview with a New Orleans parent to promote school choice, but instead it shows how charters are making children the victims of school choice, not its beneficiaries. In the video, the New Orleans parent admits: She was FORCED to access a charter school because there were no other parish schools available. She will be FORCED to further …

NOLA charter schools: favoritism with community & parents shut out

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Karran Harper Royal, long time parent advocate and one of the founding members of Parents Across America – New Orleans, reports from the front lines of school privatization, where already 75 percent of the public schools have been converted to charters, and possibly all the remaining public schools run by the Recovery School District will be charters within two years: I’ve been in so many meetings day and night with various community groups fighting off Recovery School District Superintendent John …

Message from Connecticut: do not expect real funding reform

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The pro-charter organization Conn-Can is expanding nationwide as 50-CAN, including into NY State where it is pushing the Parent Trigger. Wendy Lecker is a public school parent, former president of the Stamford Parent Teacher Council, and was staff attorney at the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, plaintiffs in a school funding lawsuit in New York. She writes below about need for real funding reform and the countervailing influence of Conn-CAN.  This column is cross posted at the Stamford Advocate. On January 5, …

Parents Across America gives a thumb down to the Parent Trigger in NY

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For immediate release: January 11, 2012 Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters, leonie@classsizematters.org, 917-435-9329 Caroline Grannan, Parents Across America, cgrannan@gmail.com, 415-412-5758 Today, a pro-charter school organization launched in New York called NY-CAN, and announced they will be advocating for a version of the so-called “Parent Trigger” legislation to be passed in New York State.  The organization is headed by Christina Grant, former deputy director of NYC Department of Education’s Office of Charter Schools. The Parent Trigger law was first passed in …

Fighting back against mandatory school testing: It’s my way or the highway, says No Child Left Behind—but is it really?

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Aaryn is a parent in San Diego.  This piece is cross posted at Aaryn’s blog, Thematically Fickle.  An opt out letter that California parents can use is posted here. by Aaryn Belfer The red pillow takes the least space. The yellow pillow takes more space than the blue pillow. Which of the following is not true: The red pillow takes more space than the blue pillow. The yellow pillow takes more space than the red pillow. The blue pillow takes …

The worst and the best education events of 2011

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Please add your suggestions of what I’ve missed in the comment section, and Happy New Year to all! Worst education news of 2011: Schools suffer huge budget cuts across the nation & class sizes increases, with the support of billionaires like Bill Gates, Bloomberg & and other members of the .0001%,  who send their own kids to expensive private schools and  who claim that resources and class sizes don’t matter. The child poverty rate grows even higher, with 11 states …

Are we winning the online debate over ed reform?

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There’s been a lots of intense tweeting and blogging over last two days about Alexander Russo’s post in which he called the good guys, including those of us on the NYC Education list serv and PAA (Parents Across America) “reform critics” and described us as “Goliaths” beating the billionaire “Davids”  in the online debate over education reform. Here’s an excerpt from the post, entitled: “Media: Reform Opponents Are Winning Online (For Now).”: As anyone who reads education sites or goes …

Please help PAA grow even stronger in 2012!

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Dear Friends, It’s nearly impossible for parents to ignore what’s being done to our public schools these days. It’s become even harder for parents to have a say about decisions that affect our children’s lives on a daily basis. In fact, politicians and those running our school systems often seem to think that the only voices that matter in education are those that come with big dollar signs! Fortunately, Parents Across America was formed nearly a year ago to give parents …

Florida parents win round #1 in court vs. budget cuts to schools

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Each and every year here in Florida, parents spend our hard-earned money building public education for our children.  We pay our property taxes to fund our schools only to see billions cut from education budgets.   Wanting the best for our children, we send in hundreds of millions of dollars in crayons and paper.  We sell enough wrapping paper to cover the earth three times.  We use that money to pay for direct classroom needs like books, smart-boards and computers.  This …

How Occupy Wall Street is Also an Education Justice Movement

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By Jason Langberg and Lewis Pitts The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has taken the country by storm. Tens of thousands of Americans are taking to the streets to protest corporate greed and government corruption. The People are sick and tired of capitalism destroying what’s left (after Citizens United) of our environment, our social safety nets, and our democracy. Indeed, there’s no corner of our country uncorrupted by the visible hands of moneyed elites and their puppets in government. Public …