Congress: Listen to parents!

Please share this fax with your Congressional representatives and senators (downloadable pdf)

Listen to Parents!

Parent Voices Weekly Education Fax

July 25, 2013

 Survey: Parents oppose testing, school closings and “choice”

American Federation of Teachers survey shows most parents want less testing, charter schools and school closings and more support for neighborhood public schools.

From the AFT press release:

Most parents with children in public schools do not support recent changes in education policy, from closing low-performing schools to shifting public dollars to charter schools to private school vouchers, according to a new poll released Monday by the American Federation of Teachers. Support for strong public schools over expanded vouchers and charters is widespread, with 77 percent supporting this approach, and that support cuts across political and class lines.

Public school parents also soundly reject the austerity-driven policies being pushed in schools. More than two-thirds of parents see the following as reducing the quality of public education: teacher and staff layoffs; increased class sizes; school closings; high turnover rates; and cutbacks in art, music, libraries and physical education. And a 57 percent majority feel there is too much emphasis on testing today.

PAA’s position: This survey reinforces PAA’s approach as detailed in our position paper on ESEA reauthorization, “What Public School Parents Want in a New Federal Education Law” 

PAA opposes efforts to privatize public education through the expansion of charters, vouchers or other privately-run programs at the expense of regular public schools. We oppose the misuse and overuse of standardized tests to evaluate teachers, students or schools.

PAA recommends that Congress listen to parents and support policies and practices that have a track record of improving schools, and more reliable accountability and assessment practices.

Specifically we suggest that a new ESEA include:

  • a focus on providing sufficient and equitable resources in all public schools, so that every child can receive a high-quality education,
  • improving schools rather than closing them, using evidence-based solutions backed by parents and other stakeholders,
  • less standardized testing and more reliable accountability and assessment practices,
  • programs that encourage the retention of professional, experienced teachers,
  • a full range of parent involvement opportunities, including a stronger, democratically-elected parent voice in decision making at the school, district, state, and national levels, and
  • the right of parents to opt their children out of standardized tests.
Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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