ESEA moving in HELP committee

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Update stories from Ed Week here and here on the status of ESEA in the Senate HELP committee, which has set a hearing on the proposal for November 8: …the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the committee, and Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., reached an agreement with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., so that action on the bill could move forward. …the biggest loser is the Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s plan to offer states waivers from some …

One mom's battle to ensure her son's right to opt out of testing

Posted on by admin

This is the story of Gretchen Herrera, and her battle with her son’s charter school,  to allow him to opt out standardized testing. Her son Anthony attended the South Carolina Virtual Charter School, a branch of K12 Inc., one of the nation’s largest chains of for-profit charter schools. Here is a petition you can sign against imposing high stakes tests in South Carolina. Here is Gretchen’s personal petition you can also sign. She writes: “I want his story known because …

Our proposals on the Senate ESEA reauthorization bill

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This letter is available as a pdf here.  A version of the letter which you can edit to fax to your Senators is here. A handy chart laying out which provisions in the bill we support and oppose is here. October 18, 2011 Re: Reauthorization of ESEA Dear Senator Harkin: Your proposed revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act show that you and the HELP Committee have listened to some of the concerns voiced by parents and others about …

PSAT: Tell your senator what you think about more charter schools

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

It’s Public Schools Action Tuesday (PSAT)! Illinois Senator Mark Kirk is asking his constituents to answer this question about charter schools: “Should Congress use its educational funds to support the expansion of Charter Schools?” In the post, Kirk declares that he “strongly supports charter schools.” The post is headlined with the incorrect statement that 9 of top 10 High Schools in Chicago are Charter Schools. Here’s a video demonstrating how some CPS high school students called candidate Rahm Emanuel out …

School reform’s magic bullet(s) by John Young

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Today’s column by John Young is the perfect antidote to the wrong-headed notions propounded by nearly all the panelists over the last two days at NBC’s Education Nation. John was the opinion page editor of the Waco, Texas paper for many years, in George Bush’s backyard,  till he recently moved back to his home state of Colorado.  John showed Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9?11 on the side of a barn in Waco when the local theaters refused to show it; for …

Testimony to the Oregon Legislature by our affiliate, SOS Oregon

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Oregon Save our Schools is the newest affiliate of Parents Across America; for more information, please contact Susan Barrett at barrettpdx@gmail.com TESTIMONY TO OREGON’S SENATE EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE & HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE On behalf of OREGON SAVE OUR SCHOOLS, an affiliate of Parents Across America Dear Committee Members: Members of our grassroots coalition have carefully followed the work of the Oregon Education Investment Team (OEIT). The team’s work has now concluded, and their recommendations will soon be …

Mixed Feelings about CMS's Broad Prize

Posted on by pagrundy

PAA co-founder Pamela Grundy has a son in fifth grade in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. So we finally won the Broad Prize. After two stints as a finalist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools took home this year’s prize, which the Charlotte Observer termed “the nation’s top award for urban education.” CMS leaders celebrated. Our mayor called the prize “a huge shot in the arm.” I have mixed feelings. I don’t care for Eli Broad or the movement he is part of. His support for privatizing …

Warning to Michigan parents and teachers about John Covington

Posted on by admin

An open message from a Kansas City teacher to the parents and  teachers of Michigan about John Covington’s reign of terror when he was superintendent of  her district’s schools. Covington drastically increased the class sizes of certain KC teachers following a model suggested by Bill Gates; this experiment ended, thankfully, when he left the district. Covington was recently appointed the head of Michigan’s new Education Achievement Authority to run that state’s struggling schools, with the power to cancel union contracts …

Teach for America Displays Taken Down in Portland and Seattle

Posted on by Dora Taylor

According to a previous post on the Seattle Education blog, Parents Across America, Seattle: Part of Protest at Apple Store: Steve Jobs with Apple has gotten on the ed reform bandwagon and is offering free iPads to Teach for America recruits but of course none to real teachers who have teaching experience, degrees in education and have devoted their lives to their school communities.  Nope, this is for the TFA, Inc. recruits with five weeks of training to teach to …

An open letter to Michael Moore from Sharon Higgins

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Dear Mr. Moore, I am one of the people who will have the opportunity to see you at your UC Berkeley book event this Saturday night. It’s going to be great to hear you speak! Yesterday, as I listed to your interview on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, I was happy to hear how you have considered doing a documentary about the American school system. I’d like to add my voice to the chorus of people who make that request …