» Julie Woestehoff

The sun shone, the stars came out for the SOS march

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After two days of movement-building speeches, workshops, and networking, the SOS march ended with a sun- and passion-drenched rally and march in the middle of Washington DC. It felt like a huge family reunion. Parents Across America was well-represented. It was so much fun to see our members meeting up with their friends from home. We even had star power – Pedro Noguera, Deb Meier, Angela Valenzuela, Diane Ravitch and, yes, Matt Damon, whose mother, Nancy Carlson Page, a professor …

News flash from the SOS March in DC- Parents are powerful!

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PAA had 20 members on Capitol Hill Thursday, talking to Senators and Congressmen from across the nation. Some PAA members also presented a workshop on PAA and some of our issues including testing and charter schools, with great results. Today started off with a fantastic keynote speech by Diane Ravitch and another PAA workshop, this one on what’s wrong with ESEA and the strategies promoted by Race to the Top, and what we need instead – small class size, different …

Can't go to the SOS March? Here's what you can do instead!

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Thousands of people will be converging on Washington, DC this week to speak out in support of our schools at the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action. Parents Across America members will be out in full force all week! On Thursday we’re presenting the first of three workshops on “The New Parent Involvement,” and we’ll be meeting with members of Congress. We have packets prepared for them with the PAA position papers on ESEA reauthorization and on …

Portland struggles with SFC scandal – Colorado braces for SFC invasion

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Posted by Julie Woestehoff – PURE, Chicago For a small city, Portland OR is dealing with a big dust-up – the Stand for Children scandal. SFC originated in Portland, and was respected and popular among parents as a strong advocate for fair school funding and other important school supports until it was hijacked by the corporate school “reformers.” Yesterday, the Portland Tribune reported on the coincidental timing of an essay by disaffected SFC-Portland parent leader Susan Barrett, which was posted …

Jonah Edelman and the Illinois Way: Model for the nation??

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We in Illinois have just convicted yet another Illinois governor. This one was a Democrat. The last one was a Republican. We need to realize that it’s not about political party these days, it’s only – and completely – about who’s buying. Makes the Tea Partiers seem like they’re on to something, doesn’t it? In case you’re not already convinced that our state legislature is a disaster, or you think Blagojevich was just an aberration. read this transcript prepared by …

Chicago parking meters funding charter school

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I’ve hated those &#@% Chicago parking meters ever since Mayor Daley privatized them and I got a $50 ticket on Mothers’ Day 2010. It was right after the new system was installed across the street from my church (no signs up – and the hours for the meter were changed over the weekend). So, now I read that Chicago Parking Meters –the company that Mayor Daley sold us out to — recently gave a $10,000 gift to a charter high …

PAA opposes House charter school bill

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Today Parents Across America (PAA) released a position paper opposing HR 2218, the so-called “Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act.”

A "Bad Air Day" for Alter

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Every so often I step back to see what staunch proponents of “corporate reform” are saying now. Maybe there’s new evidence? Maybe I’ve missed some critical research validating the privatization of public education or some new study on merit pay that supersedes a multitude of others stating that merit pay doesn’t work. Perhaps a political pundit can enlighten me on what’s best for public education? A corporate reformer would get an earful from the vast untapped resource of involved parents …

Take action! Listen to Diane

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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

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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 …