Steven Brill's blinkered thinking in the Wall Street Journal

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Today’s Wall St. Journal features an article by Steven Brill, drawn from his new book Class Warfare, in which he acknowledges the huge burn out rates of charter school teachers.  He describes one “super” teacher and administrator, a 28 year old assistant principal at Harlem Success Academy named  Jessica Reid, who quits, despite a large salary and quick advancement, because “This wasn’t a sustainable life, in terms of my health and my marriage.” Brill then concludes: “The lesson that I draw …

An open letter to NPR about their coverage of the SOS march

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This letter was sent today to Claudio Sanchez, the reporter and Edward Schumacher Matos, the NPR ombudsperson.  We will let you know if we receive a response.  If you’d like to send your own message, their emails are: csanchez@npr.org and eschumachermatos@npr.org Dear Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Schumacher-Matos; I was very disappointed in your coverage of the SOS march.  You severely underestimated of the size of the rally, reporting that there were only 2,000 to 3,000 teachers there, whereas most others, …

Following the Charter Dollars by Don Whittinghill

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This cogent analysis is cross posted from the website of the Louisiana School Boards Association. Don Whittinghill has been a LSBA consultant since 2000, responsible for production of the quarterly journal, The Louisiana Boardmember, for editorial content of the LSBA web site, and is a former reporter for the Times-Picayune. Who benefits financially from the pro-market charter school movement? The charter school reform emerged in part out of a progressive effort to promote innovation that could be used to improve …

Parents Across America rejects Duncan's "waiver" proposal

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 10, 2011 Contacts: Natalie Beyer, (919) 382-2823 Pamela Grundy, (704) 806-0410 Leonie Haimson, (917) 435-9329 Karran Harper Royal, (504) 722-8174 Rita Solnet, (561) 289-7333 National organization Parents Across America rejects Duncan’s “waiver” proposal and calls for complete overhaul of No Child Left Behind The national organization Parents Across America opposes the proposal by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to offer “waivers” to states, exempting them from provisions of the law known as No Child Left Behind …

Revelation & Education: Rhee & Booker Join Hybels’ Christian Summit

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-by Doug Martin Next week (August 11-12), Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker and Michelle Rhee will speak at the Global Leadership Summit. Started in 1996 by Bill Hybels—guru at Willow Creek Community Church, the chief branch of the multi-church Willow Creek Association —the summit takes place just outside of Chicago in a $75 million auditorium and will be beamed via satellite to hundreds of churches in the U.S. and seventy countries, with an expected audience of 165,000. Believing that the …

More Heat Than Light: The empty promise of the Parent Trigger

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Parents Across America’s position paper on the Parent Trigger is here.  The following commentary is by Bill Ring, a PAA member from Los Angeles and founder of TransParent®  The American Federation of Teachers apparently embarrassed themselves recently when their Connecticut affiliate was caught with a document on its website memorializing its strategy to defeat Connecticut’s version of California’s parent empowerment legislation (unfortunately known in California as the “parent trigger”). I went through the powerpoint credited to Connecticut AFT’s legislative advocate, …

The problem with Democrats and public school equity

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While Parents Across America is a non-partisan organization that does not advocate for any political party, I wanted to nevertheless offer what the community is saying in Denver about equity in schools.  This was originally posted at www.defensedenver.com, a Denver-based organization to push for democratically-run schools and equitable education for all Denver students. by Ed Augden, Retired Denver Public Schools Teacher and Community Activist Alexander Ooms may be right in his viewpoint expressed in the Denver Post on July 25, …

Dora Goes to Washington: The Save Our Schools Rally and March

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Cross posted at seattleducation2011 I’m going to start with the Save Our Schools March and Rally that I participated in on Saturday July 30th since that’s the big news and then describe my week in Washington D.C. when I had an opportunity to meet my Senators and discuss what parents are concerned about and what we want for our children as well as report on the SOS Conference which I attended on Friday. But first the rally and march. It …

New alliance between Murdoch and Gates to "differentiate" learning

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Today, Vicki Phillips of the the Gates Foundation announced the creation of an  an “amazing” new software program that will be like a “huge app store – just for teachers – with the Netflix and Facebook capabilities we love the most.” “There are few times in life when we are fortunate enough to be part of something amazing. I believe this is one of those times, and I am especially excited because the “something amazing” is being led by states…..” Sure, …

PSAT for 8-2-11: Take the Matt Damon test

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Are you as well-informed about education issues as Matt Damon? Check out his interview with Gotham Schools here and his SOS March speech here. Did you know all that? Why is he so smart about school issues? Well, apparently he’s actually really smart. Also, he has a smart mom who is a professor of early childhood education and hangs around with Diane Ravitch. But all of us can get smart, and we have started hanging around with Diane R., too, …