» Julie Woestehoff

PAA Mass affiliate writes letter of support for Seattle teachers

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CPS supports Seattle’s Garfield High Teachers: Test Boycott is Courageous Stand for Students, Against Test Abuse Citizens for Public Schools Issues Statement Supporting Seattle’s Garfield High Teachers: “Test Boycott is Courageous Stand for Students, Against Test Abuse” We, the members of Citizens for Public Schools, stand with the teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle for their courageous move to boycott district-mandated Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests. We respect the Garfield teachers for saying no to the escalating use …

PAA’s Wendy Lecker finds a superintendent to speak out

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We have a winner! In my last column, I made a simple plea for one Connecticut superintendent to speak out about the dangers of Connecticut’s over-emphasis on high-stakes standardized testing. Diane Ravitch, the nationally noted author, education historian and former Assistant Secretary of Education, posted my column on her blog and one courageous superintendent stood up — Thomas Scarice, of Madison. The story of how Superintendent Scarice and his community crafted the district’s recommendations for its teacher evaluation plan is …

“New market tax credits” and charter schools

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Following up on our “Master Class” story about hedge funders and the “education sector”: Two years ago, New York Daily News reporter Juan Gonzalez exposed a little known federal tax break, new market tax credits, in which wealthy investors and major banks have been making windfall profits, nearly doubling their investment in seven years. Numerous charter companies as well as banks have participated in this lucrative deal including Imagine Schools, Green Dot, Brighter Choice, KIPP and Andre Agassi schools. See also …

Show us the money: “Master Class” for private equity investors in public education

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Even when people recognize how hard corporations are working to take over public education, they still wonder – is there really that much money to be made in education? Maybe the hedge funders are really doing all this just to help children. It’s a natural question given the fact that teachers are modestly paid and schools are mostly underfunded, hardly one’s idea of a lucrative investment opportunity. Well, the private equity investor drool is on full display in this “Master …

K-12 Aid Faces Uncertain Future, Despite ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal

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As first appeared in Education Week, Politics K-12 Blog, January 1, 2013. Reprinted with permission from Editorial Projects in Education. By Alyson Klein on January 1, 2013 3:02 PM UPDATED Education programs will be spared the prospect of the largest across-the-board cuts in history, but only temporarily, under a bill to avert much of the so-called “fiscal cliff,” overwhelmingly approved by Congress on Tuesday. The measure, which passed the U.S. Senate 89-8 early Tuesday morning and the U.S. House 257-167 …

Join the Journey for Justice!

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Please Join Us as We Work to Send Parents and Students To Testify! Attend the Save Our Schools Webinar and Fundraiser –  Journey For Justice 2 Education Organizers  Jitu Brown, Karran Harper Royal, and Zakiyah Ansari On the birthdate of the honorable Civil Rights Leader, Doctor Martin Luther King Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:30 PM Eastern Time [ET] REGISTER HERE The time is now!  If we are to stop school closings nationwide, we must acknowledge that our demands too often …

Incentivizing philanthropy: Walgreen’s gets no bid contract after school gift card giveaway

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  It was only a couple of months ago that Walgreen’s CEO Greg Wasson stood with Mayor Rahm at our old neighborhood school, Field Elementary, to announce the giveaway of $25 Walgreen’s gift cards to parents for picking up their children’s report cards. “This is a way, in my view, of incentivizing responsible parenting,” the Mayor said that day. At the time, I sent this letter to Mayor Emanuel and CEO Wasson, suggesting that there are far better ways to …

Michigan Parents for Schools – story from new PAA affiliate

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Michigan public school supporters have just come out of a bruising lame duck session of the state legislature that promises even greater battles to come next year. I think our experience may be helpful to other states because of the common ideological framework behind all these attacks on public education. You may have heard about some of the damaging, and in come cases bizarre, bills that became law in the last days of the session. Among those which impact education:  …

Welcome new Congress!

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Today is the opening day of the new Congress. A couple of weeks ago, PAA sent a letter to three new Democratic members of the Senate education committee. Today we sent a similar letter to three new Republican members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Susan Brooks (R-IN), Luke Messer (R-IN) and Richard Hudson (R-NC) as well as the new chair of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, Todd Rokita (R-IN). We will reach out …

A PAA Welcome to new Senate HELP committee members

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We just e-mailed this letter to Senators-elect Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)  and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who will be new members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. We will send similar letters to other new members as well as any new members of the House Education and the Workforce committee, as we learn of their appointments. December 20, 2012 Dear Senator-elect: Congratulations on your election! There are so many challenges ahead and we wish you the …