» pagrundy

Why parents support teachers

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Misc | 1 Comment

Parents Across America is pleased to stand with our nation’s schoolteachers in efforts to improve education for all children – efforts that range from the issues raised in the Chicago teachers’ strike to the Seattle teachers’ boycott of wasteful standardized tests. We are proud to be part of a long tradition of parent support for public schoolteachers. Parents voice support Although this nation has been through three decades of hand-wringing over a “crisis in American education,” throughout that entire period …

Broadie Tata fired by Wake County school board

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Misc | 4 Comments

By Jason Langberg On Tuesday, the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Board of Education (BOE) fired Superintendent Anthony Tata, a Broad Superintendents Academy graduate.  The firing of a local school superintendent wouldn’t usually be major national news, but in this instance, it is.  It proves that at least some school systems will still resist significant influence by big money and market-based deformers when it is in the best interests of families, teachers and the community. Here is a timeline …

Chicago teacher-parent alliance highlighted key parent issues

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Misc | Comments Off on Chicago teacher-parent alliance highlighted key parent issues

As a nationwide parents group, Parents Across America (PAA) does not take a stand on union issues. We regret that Chicago families had their schedules disrupted and Chicago children lost valuable learning time during the recent Chicago strike. However, the teachers in Chicago have highlighted important challenges in public education that resonate with families and communities across the country. In addition to issues of pay and benefits, Chicago teachers chose to spotlight flawed policies that are hurting students in our …

Meet the Founders: Julie Woestehoff

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Misc | Comments Off on Meet the Founders: Julie Woestehoff

 Fourth in a series of profiles of PAA founding members. For PAA co-founder Julie Woestehoff, the high point of the recently concluded Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike was the solidarity she saw between teachers, parents, students and community members. “We showed a very powerful united front,” she said. “It was not just teachers, it was the whole community. We all felt that we were speaking out in favor of a better vision of education.” Julie has worked for decades to …

Meet the Founders: Caroline Grannan

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Misc | Comments Off on Meet the Founders: Caroline Grannan

Third in a series of profiles of PAA’s founding members. Caroline Grannan, PAA’s Parent Trigger expert, got her start in education reform research more than a decade ago, in the dark days when Google searches hadn’t yet been developed and building a website required a programming expert. Her first focus was Edison Schools, Inc., a for-profit, NASDAQ-traded charter management company that claimed to bring “the efficiencies of the private sector” to public education. “It was really getting hailed as the …

What are DFER and Students First Afraid of?

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Misc | Comments Off on What are DFER and Students First Afraid of?

For two days day in a row, at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., a handful of moms bearing flyers and large yellow pencils made out of pool noodles were denied admission to events organized by the corporate-focused education “reform” groups Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) and Students First, headed by Michelle Rhee. On Tuesday, Carol Sawyer and Pam Grundy, co-chairs of the Charlotte-based MecklenburgACTS.org (which is affiliated with Parents Across America) had signed up in advance for what …

A Pause in Testing Madness

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

By Pamela Grundy This time last year, residents of Charlotte, North Carolina faced a massive expansion of high-stakes standardized testing, aimed at making the students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools the most tested in the nation. That spring, students, teachers and parents endured the outbreak of what we soon called “testing madness.” On top of the regular state tests, teachers across Mecklenburg County were required to administer 52 new high-stakes standardized tests, part of superintendent Peter Gorman’s goal of testing every child …

Mixed Feelings about CMS's Broad Prize

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

PAA co-founder Pamela Grundy has a son in fifth grade in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. So we finally won the Broad Prize. After two stints as a finalist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools took home this year’s prize, which the Charlotte Observer termed “the nation’s top award for urban education.” CMS leaders celebrated. Our mayor called the prize “a huge shot in the arm.” I have mixed feelings. I don’t care for Eli Broad or the movement he is part of. His support for privatizing …

Parent Involvement

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This week, Parenting Magazine is sponsoring a blog-a-thon, in which parents from across the country, especially delegates to the 2010 and 2011 Mom Congresses, write open letters to their kids about what they’re going to do for education this upcoming school year. This letter was written by PAA co-founder Pamela Grundy, who was the 2011 North Carolina delegate to Mom Congress. Pamela is spending the fall in Shanghai, China, with husband Peter Wong (a visiting scholar at Tongji University) and …

Why More Standardized Tests Won't Improve Education

Posted on by pagrundy Posted in Parent Resources, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

American students are spending growing amounts of time preparing for and taking high-stakes standardized tests. The federal government requires students to take annual state tests in math, English, science and social studies. Some states and districts have gone even further, requiring standardized tests for every subject, including art, music, journalism and physical education. Test scores are used to bar students from moving from one grade to another, to determine teacher and administrator pay, and to label schools as “failing” – …