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13 things the NEA hates about Arne Duncan

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According to Education Week, this resolution was  approved with a few minor changes by the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly today; cross posted as item C here. The NEA Representative Assembly directs the NEA President to communicate aggressively, forcefully, and immediately to President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that NEA is appalled with Secretary Duncan’s practice of: Weighing in on local hiring decisions of school and school district personnel. Supporting local decisions to fire all school …

Save Our Schools NJ: reform our broken charter school law now!

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From SOS New Jersey, an affiliate of Parents Across America, working to reform their state’s charter school laws.  These principles should be followed in any state. Reform New Jersey’s Broken Charter School Law Save Our Schools NJ is working with lawmakers to reform three significant problems with the existing charter school law Local communities have no control over the opening of new charter schools in their districts, even though the communities must pay to run those charter schools and the …

Monty Neill on the choice of the frying pan or the fire: NCLB vs. RTTT

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Cross -posted at the National Journal . If US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has his way, states will have to “choose” between the frying pan of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the fire of Race to the Top (RTTT). Or so it seems from his vague language. The frying pan: Under NCLB, ever more schools will face “in need of improvement” (INOI) status and then ever-escalating sanctions as they fail to make “adequate yearly progress.” Once in that …

Lance Hill on the way the privatizers have hijacked the word "reform"

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See Lance Hill’s insightful comments below.  I have long believed that we need to reclaim that word “reform” for ourselves; we at PAA say we support “progressive education reform.”  and oppose “corporate reform” based on privatization, competition, and high-stakes testing. The people at the GEM, the Grassroots Education Movement, who made the new film The  Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, call themselves the “real reformers.” . I am starting to use the hashtag  #realreform when I tweet, and hope …

Helen Gym: Reformers, please listen to what parents want for schools

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Helen Gym is a Philadelphia public school parent and writer and founder of Parents United for Public Education, the newest affiliate of Parents Across America. This essay is cross posted at the CNN blog. Many of those who are driving education policy today are fixed on a certain set of numbers and measurements that we’re told are the way to gauge a quality school. But as a parent, that’s not really what matters to me about my daughter’s education. I …

PAA in the news: questions about charter schools & Broad Foundation

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Two major stories today feature the work of Parents Across America and, in particular, one of our brilliant Oakland  members, Sharon Higgins. Sharon writes and researches three blogs, The Perimeter Primate, Charter School Scandals, and The Broad Report. Sharon provides cutting edge information and exposes scandals in the corporate education reform movement including charter schools and the Broad Foundation (from whose leadership academy our new CEO, JC Brizard, is a graduate). Sharon’s work is featured in an article posted in …

Stealth U.S. charter network linked to Gulen raises concerns

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The New York Times this week published an investigative report about the financial practices of a sizable group of Texas charter schools being operated by the followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic religious leader “whose devotees have built a worldwide religious, social and nationalistic movement in his name.” While the New York Times focused on Texas schools, members of the Gulen movement have actually started schools all over the United States – approximately 120 charter schools in 25 states, …

Support the Student Bill of Rights and an equitable chance to learn!

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Below is a press release sent yesterday from the office of Congressman Chaka Fattah, Second District of Pennsylvania, about a letter many of our organizations sent to his office in support of his reintroduction of the Student Bill of Rights Act, posted here: The Student Bill of Rights, H.R. 129. Rep. Fattah has been a long champion of the federal government’s working with states to address very serious resource disparities between school districts that mean some children are provided the …

The life-long effect of Kindergarten cut-off dates

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Cross-posted at NYC Public School Parents. This NY Times article talks about how the increased academic pressure on Kindergarten students is leading many states to move their cut off dates earlier in the year. NYC public schools continue to have among the latest cut offs for Kindergarten, December 31, according to the allied chart. New York City private school cut off dates are much earlier; and it is very common when a child is applying to a private school, especially …

Ten reasons not to hire Goodloe-Johnson as FLA Ed commissioner

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Apparently, the search firm hired to find someone willing to serve as the new state education commissioner in Florida is finding it difficult and has recommended extending the deadline, which is not altogether surprising, considering Gov. Rick Scott’s highly controversial education policies. One of the few candidates under consideration is Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, a Broad-trained superintendent who was fired in disgrace from Seattle, and then failed to be hired as schools chief in Newark NJ, despite the fact that former …