Last night we watched a charming movie, “Amreeka,” about a Palestinian mom and her son who emigrate to Illinois the same week the US invaded Iraq. Not surprisingly, they encounter some challenges. Somewhat surprisingly, one of the film’s heroes is the mild-mannered principal of the local high school. School principals are popularly portrayed as creeps, crooks, or idiots (anyone besides me remember Osgood Conklyn in Our Miss Brooks? OK, how about Glee’s Principal Figgins?). My own experience of principals in … →
By Caroline Grannan, San Francisco Parents Across America founding member The Parent Trigger is a school reform idea that was hatched here in California, has won glowing press and is still being discussed around the nation as a school reform panacea. The Parent Trigger supposedly allows 51% of the parents at a school to petition for “transformation” at the school, in one of four ways: turn the school into a charter, close the school, fire the principal, or restructure in … →
Founding members of PAA share why they got involved.
PAA Founding Members on why we need a national organization to put the parent voice back into public education.
The following update is by Sue Peters, a founding member of Parents Across America and Parents Across America -Seattle, where over the course of the past year, grassroots organizing, community members and stakeholders have beaten down the forces of corporate reform several times, including in the latest school board elections. Amazingly, the State of Washington still does not allow charter schools, in the backyard of that privatization juggernaut, the Gates Foundation. This year, Seattle has also forced the resignation of … →
Today’s Public Schools Action Tuesday (PSAT) action is an easy one since everyone’s busy cooking and cleaning (and working) this week! To start Thanksgiving a little early, please give thanks for teachers. The Use Your Teacher Voice web site is a good place to start. You’ll hear from a variety of teachers like David, from Social Justice High School, who explains the link between poverty and student learning difficulties. I am so grateful to the teachers in my own family. … →
Below see the account of last night’s victory by Patty Williams of Great Schools in Wake Co. NC, an affiliate of Parents Across America. Conservative forces had taken control of the school board with the help of a group called Americans for Prosperity, which is funded in part by the Koch brothers; the conservative majority had tried to eliminate the district’s integration policy. For more on this, see Colbert Report video below. This is a long story, with a happy … →
Sandra Stotsky was one of the authors of the Massachusetts learning standards in English Language Arts – widely thought to be the best in the nation – and was a member of the Common Core State Standards Initiative Validation Committee, though she has been critical of the final versions as being deficient. David Coleman and Jason Zimba, working under a contract with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, were the primary authors of the standards, despite the fact neither man had ever … →