» Julie Woestehoff

Take action! Listen to Diane

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

For Public Schools Action Tuesday (PSAT) today, please read and follow the directions included in this article which was posted on dianeravitch.com over the weekend: A Letter to My Friends and Readers any people have asked what they can do to try to change the conditions and misguided policies that I describe in my book. Wherever I go, the same question comes up: What can we do? How do we stop these bad policies and programs? Whether they are parents, …

Presentation to Department of Ed public meeting on assessment

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in News & Updates | 3 Comments

The June 10 USDE “Automated Scoring of Summative Assessments” public meeting in Chicago was eerily like a Pentagon briefing for vendors on the latest weapons technology. USDE’s Ann Whelan, who chaired the meeting, actually wrapped up the day by saying, “We need to be bold and move the industry forward.” I wondered if we should all salute as she walked out. The meeting was about creating computer-based and computer-scored assessments, a topic that seemed to be over the heads of …

PAA endorses the Student Bill of Rights

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The education “reformers” have been trying their darndest to get the nation to ignore the real crisis in American education: resource inequality. Thanks to Representative Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania, we have an opportunity to get school reform back on track and do the one thing that will make a real difference, especially for the most at-risk children. Rep. Fattah has re-introduced a bill that he originally filed back in 2002. The Student Bill of Rights is a powerful statement of …

Chicago Tribune's response to the PAA parent trigger position

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The Chicago Tribune didn’t publish PAA’s own letter about parent trigger laws, even though their April 29th editorial specifically slammed our position. But a few days ago they did print this letter from one of the unions involved in the only parent trigger shoot-out so far: This is in response to your April 30 editorial “Parent power.” When you refer to the McKinley Elementary School petition in Compton, Calif., as “parent-powered, child-focused,” you ignore the fact that the petition was …

What's up with Chicago teachers and the "Performance Counts" bill?

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by Julie Woestehoff Yesterday at a Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates meeting, the membership voted to rescind their leaders’ endorsement of Senate Bill 7 and fight it instead. What’s going on here? First, let’s take a couple of steps back. In mid-December of last year, several business-backed “education reform” groups tried to push through a piece of teacher-bashing legislation called “Performance Counts” during the Christmas and New Year holidays. They must have expected that teachers would be caught flat-footed …

Chicago charter-funding group will pay to improve failing charters

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To every thing, turn, turn, turn… Catalyst Notebook reports that the Renaissance Schools Fund – which is about to “turnaround” its brand name and call itself “New Schools for Chicago” — is going to budget a few million to “restructure at least a handful of low-achieving charters.” Does that mean it’s time to reform “education reform”? Wait – now, which is the status quo?? It’s so confusing. But, don’t worry. Catalyst also reports that the New Schools for Chicago folks …

PAA press release on new ESEA position paper

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in News & Updates, Press Releases, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

It’s time for lawmakers to listen to parents! National parent group reaches out to Congress on ESEA, demanding less testing and privatization and more proven, effective reforms As Congress considers the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, aka No Child Left Behind), Parents Across America, a national network of public school parents, will be calling on our U. S. Senators and Congressmen this week to share our concerns about the direction of federal education policy, and offer …

Obama, Duncan want better tests? We need better answers first.

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

By Julie Woestehoff, published 4–14-11 on Huffington Post: A few days ago at a student forum, a young woman asked President Obama, “Could you reduce the amount of tests?” The President didn’t say yes. What he did say is that “we have piled on a lot of standardized tests on our kids.” He asserted that such tests should be given only “occasionally” as at his daughters’ private school, and even then the tests shouldn’t have high-stakes attached. “Too often,” he …

More evidence of charter push-outs

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By Julie Woestehoff – Don’t miss this great article by the Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky, which details the ridiculous inequality between Pritzker College Prep charter high school and nearby Kelvyn Park HS, a regular Chicago Public high school. Here’s how it opens: On February 16, the Union League Club gave out its Democracy in Action award to deserving local high school students, and Mayor Daley was on hand to give a rousing speech—calling on regular public schools to make like …

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