Position paper: Why PAA opposes mass school closingsPAA-New Orleans chapter protests charter school discrimination against disabled studentsParent “choice”: Schools choose – students loseParents VotePAA marchers begin the SOS March July 2011Founders speak at PAA kickoff forum, Feb. 8, 2011
Position paper: Why PAA opposes mass school closings
PAA-New Orleans chapter protests charter school discrimination against disabled students
Parent “choice”: Schools choose – students lose
Parents Vote
PAA marchers begin the SOS March July 2011
Founders speak at PAA kickoff forum, Feb. 8, 2011

Obama's speech to Congress; so why am I skeptical?

Posted on by leoniehaimson

Obama’s speech last week to Congress has been described as a “wake up call”—with its aggressive and ambitious proposals to boost spending on education – including $30 billion to avoid further teacher layoffs, and $30 billion more to renovate school facilities.  These funds that are desperately needed as more than 2/3 of states and districts are suffering big cuts and increases in class size this fall-  with nearly a quarter million fewer school staff employed in June 2011 compared to …

US House to vote on bad charter bill today

Posted on by pureparents

Please call your congressman today and ask him/her to vote NO on HR 2218 (see press release below). This bill is called the Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools bill, but we believe that it only serves to empower charter school operators and not parents or students. Look at the list of endorsers if you doubt who is behind this. Parents Across America has taken a position against HR 2218. Because the vote is happening today, you need to keep …

Students choke on "reform" when lunch is 10 minutes long

Posted on by CarolineSF

So-called education “reform” means teaching to the test, narrowing curriculum — and truncating lunch to 10 or 15 minutes. School food advocates object in a post on the popular The Lunch Tray blog. As I explained in a comment on the blog, educators aren’t the ones who think insanely short lunches are a good idea. As this commentary mentions, they are under intense (seriously intense, crushing) pressure from the non-educators who control our nation’s education policy. The truncated lunches are …

PSAT for 9-6-11: Commit to valuing all children

Posted on by pureparents

Today is the traditional first day of school across the US. That tradition has eroded in many places due to so-called year-round school schedules, experiments like Paul Vallas’s short-term effort to game state tests by adding a few weeks in at the beginning of the school year, and a host of local variables. Another tradition that seems to have eroded (if it ever truly existed) is that of valuing all children. These days, politicians and media types are boldly yammering …

Why More Standardized Tests Won't Improve Education

Posted on by pagrundy

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” – …

Next target of ed "reformers" – democracy

Posted on by pureparents

“Reformers” next target: “one-size-fits-all” democracy Now that they’ve had some success destroying public education, the school reform privateers are setting their sights on something even more precious and fundamental to our nation – our democracy. You see, democracy is “messy” and “one-size-fits-all” and has a pesky habit of getting in the way of even more mega profits and oligarchic* control, which the Bill Gateses and Eli Broads feel is their due. Last week, former Chicago Tribune honcho James Warren wrote …

Sue Bordelon on NOLA charters and her special needs son

Posted on by leoniehaimson

See the video below of Sue Bordelon and her son Clark, speaking about his abusive treatment at the hands of New Orleans charter schools – in a system that has been praised by Arne Duncan and others as a model for the nation. Their powerful testimony was filmed during the inaugural press conference held by the new chapter of Parents Across America NOLA, along with the John McDonogh Alumni Association, the Downtown Neighborhood Improvement Association, and the Esplanade Ridge/Treme Civic …

In California, it's billionaires vs. the PTA on testing 2nd graders

Posted on by CarolineSF

I’m sharing information from the Educated Guess forum (run by the reform-minded Silicon Valley Education Foundation). State standardized testing has been imposed on second-graders here in California for quite a few years – in the ’90s, standardized testing began at third grade. California state Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) has sponsored a bill that would eliminate standardized testing for second-graders. According to Educated Guess, the bill – backed by the California state PTA, the California School Boards Association, state Superintendent of …

An Open Letter to NBC re this year's Education Nation

Posted on by leoniehaimson

Date: August 30, 2011 to: Steve Capus (President, NBC News) and Brian Williams (Anchor and Managing Editor, Nightly News) Subject: Education Nation Dear Mr. Capus and Mr. Williams: Thank you for dedicating substantial attention to the issue of public education, and for scheduling several days of programming this fall to this critical issue, as you did last fall, under the name of “Education Nation.” However, we were very concerned that last year’s “Education Nation” contained a paucity of parent viewpoints, …

Paying attention to reforms that work for English learners

Posted on by andreamerida

While the politics of education reform swirl all around us, it’s important to keep clear on what works and what doesn’t. The good news is that the Denver Public Schools is actually doing very well in supporting a particular segment of our student population, English learners. The confusing part is that we seem ready to ignore that fact and follow a path that is completely divergent from real, lasting reform. The right path to close the achievement gap and provide …