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New TX Re-districting Map Splits Austin School District in Half

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Lorie Barzano, Co-Chair, CoalitionSAUS (Strengthen Austin Urban Schools), PAA affiliate and parent led group representing 20 public school campuses in Austin’s urban core, which has a vision of quality, accessible public education for all. According to the most recent US Census, Texas again gained population during the past ten years. That means TX legislators have re-drawn electoral district maps for the second time since the start of the 21st century. Imagine a good old fashioned land grab in Texas! Needless …

video: Stop cutting our schools & stop the circus, now!

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This great video was made by public school parents in California; but could be applied nearly every state and district where they are cutting school budgets. Where is the corporate control crowd on this issue?  Too busy promoting charters and high-stakes testing? Sponsored by Educate Our State and Directed by Brent Jones

video: Stop cutting our schools & stop the circus, now!

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This great video was made by public school parents in California; but could be applied nearly every state and district where they are cutting school budgets. Where is the corporate control crowd on this issue?  Too busy promoting charters and high-stakes testing? Sponsored by Educate Our State and Directed by Brent Jones

"Tell us a secret": another creepy test question

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The skeletons are flying out of the test publishers’ closets, and parents are getting angrier and angrier. This week it was an essay question on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, which asked students to write about a secret that was hard to keep. According to the AP, the dad who learned about this question from his twin 9-year-old sons said, “All of the sudden, you have in a sense Big Brother checking out the secrets of families.” …

“Tell us a secret”: another creepy test question

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The skeletons are flying out of the test publishers’ closets, and parents are getting angrier and angrier. This week it was an essay question on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, which asked students to write about a secret that was hard to keep. According to the AP, the dad who learned about this question from his twin 9-year-old sons said, “All of the sudden, you have in a sense Big Brother checking out the secrets of families.” …

High KIPP attrition must be part of San Francisco discussion

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The KIPP charter school chain, which operates two charter middle schools here in San Francisco, is applying to open a high school. This is a local issue, but relates to similar situations that are widely discussed in other parts of the country. I’m posting figures on attrition from the existing KIPP middle schools. The number indicates students who left and were not replaced. A 2008 study of the (then-existing) Bay Area KIPP schools by SRI International showed a 60% attrition …

Please help Philadelphia: Poster child for disasters of corporate reform

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Dear parents and PAA colleagues: It’s taken me a while to talk about what’s happening in Philadelphia because of the destructive forces threatening public education in our city. In case you haven’t read the news, Philadelphia’s Chief Recovery Officer – a gas industry executive paid $150K over six months – hired the Boston Consulting Group for a cool $1.4 million to create a “Blueprint for Reform”. The Blueprint sets out a five year course of action which calls for closing …

PAA members to demonstrate against ALEC

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When members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) descend on Charlotte for their spring summit, Parents Across America will be there to meet them. Members and supporters of PAA affiliate MecklenburgACTS will spend Friday, May 11, calling attention to the destructive education legislation that ALEC has promoted, legislation that increases high-stakes testing, promotes school vouchers and online charter schools and undercuts the teaching profession. Demonstrators will also be promoting the National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing, which calls on state …

Politicians: on teacher appreciation day, keep empty words to yourself!

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Here is a powerful letter reprinted from today’s Syracuse Post-Standard. This week is the annual celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week. Politicians of every stripe and school superintendents everywhere will write letters and make proclamations stating how much they value the service and dedication of teachers everywhere. All of these words are empty and merely paying lip service to something they do not believe. By their actions, these ”leaders” have made it obvious that they neither appreciate, admire, respect nor comprehend …

PAA-Connecticut letter to legislators about Gov. Malloy's proposals

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Dear Members of the Legislature: We are writing to you as a newly formed Connecticut chapter of Parents Across America. We have come together, as public school parents from different communities across Connecticut, to support our children and the public schools that educate them. We experience first-hand the challenges facing our schools and our children. We know what works and what does not. What works to strengthen our schools are: proven, research-based reforms, sufficient and equitable funding, diversity and meaningful …