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Diane Ravitch's speech at the SOS march: we shall prevail!

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Excerpt:   This is a historic day.  I am a historian.  There has never before been a spontaneous grassroots org of teachers, parents and students all coming together to say save our schools…Promise yourself you will never forget this day! Today we join to protest the status quo. The status quo of high stakes testing, the status quo of attacks on the teaching  profession, the status quo of privatization.  The status quo is wrong; don’t let them say you’re defending the …

Hey Mr. President, listen to us!

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Listen to the great song composed by Greg Gower and sung by Linda Gower for the Save our Schools March in DC.  Greg and Linda are two of the founding members of Parents Across America -Spokane. Come join Parents Across America, Diane Ravitch, Matt Damon and many others in the Save Our Schools rally and march to the White House on Saturday, July 30 2011. More information here.   President Obama, listen to us!

Tom Olson, another former Stand for Children member, speaks out

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As an educator and strategic planning facilitator over the past four decades, Tom Olson has advised 13 different states on their education reform efforts, and has consulted with more than 500 local district and state strategic reform projects. He also served as a volunteer member on several Stand for Children (SFC) State Task Forces, and was a  board member of the SFC Political Action Committee.  He wrote the following letter to Jonah Edelman, the founder of Stand for Children, joining …

Why do politicians blow up when asked where their kids go to school?

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Rahm Emanuel, the new Mayor of Chicago, walks out of an NBC  interview when asked when asked what school he intends to enroll  his children in. He intones: “My children are not an instrument of me being mayor.” But everyone else’s children are. Check out the video here and below. If the report in the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet is correct, he has chosen the Lab School, where Obama sent his own kids, where Duncan went to school himself, and …

Duncan’s Dilemma

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This perceptive piece is reprinted with permission from the American Enterprise blog.  Members of Parents Across America agree that Duncan’s policies are arbitrary, overreach his authority, and conflict with public opinion about how our schools should be improved. By Whitney Downs In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, education writer Stephanie Banchero highlighted the increasing impatience among state leaders over Congress’s inability to “fix” No Child Left Behind. Reauthorization of the law, which was enacted during the George W. Bush administration and …

Who Should Be 'The Decider' for Our Public Schools?

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by Julia Sass Rubin of Save our Schools NJ, an affiliate of Parents Across America; cross-posted at the Big Think. In a recent big think profile, New Jersey’s Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf observed that consensus “is not the highest value in this world” and that “putting too high a premium on consensus and collaboration” could lead to bad solutions. This may be true when it comes to corporations.  But Mr. Cerf wasn’t discussing corporate restructuring; he was talking …

My Reply to Stand for Children

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By Susan Barrett I appreciate that Oregon’s Stand for Children (SFC) chapter has responded to my post, but unfortunately this only further confirms for me that they have no interest in changing their agenda. In the past few days, I have been contacted by other parents who agree with me that Stand is not representing their concerns. For example, not once have I heard a parent say, “Gee, if only we had more Teach for America teachers, things would be …

Stand for Children: A Hometown Perspective of its Evolution

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by Susan Barrett   I recently stepped down as a volunteer co-leader of a Stand for Children (SFC) team in Portland Oregon, the headquarters of this organization.  Being a SFC member has meant fighting for the needs of children and better public schools for all students in this state (see this pdf.) However, things have started changing here in Oregon, and I worry that SFC is headed down the path that disaffected parents, like me, identify as the corporate reform movement. I was …

Save Our Schools Calendar of Events

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Parents Across America is co-sponsoring and participating in the SOS conference and workshops at American University,  the rally,  and march  to the White House from July 28-July 30 in DC.  We are also co-hosting a reception with the SOS march organizers the evening of July 29. Please join us!  See discounts for travel and hotel below. We are also going to be visiting Senate and House offices on July 28; if you’d like to join us, email info@parentsacrossamerica.org Registration: There …

Why Parents Across America oppose the charter school bill, HR 2218

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H.R. 2218 (bill summary) passed the House Education and Workforce Committee on June 22 by a vote of 34-5.  The five Democrats who voted against the bill are:  Reps. John Tierney (MA), Dennis Kucinich (OH),  Dave Loebsack (IA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), and Tim Bishop (NY). The bill is likely to be brought to the House floor before the August recess,  scheduled to begin August 8.  Parents, please send a similar message to your  Representatives, by calling or emailing their offices …