Who Should Be 'The Decider' for Our Public Schools?

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by Julia Sass Rubin of Save our Schools NJ, an affiliate of Parents Across America; cross-posted at the Big Think. In a recent big think profile, New Jersey’s Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf observed that consensus “is not the highest value in this world” and that “putting too high a premium on consensus and collaboration” could lead to bad solutions. This may be true when it comes to corporations.  But Mr. Cerf wasn’t discussing corporate restructuring; he was talking …

My Reply to Stand for Children

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By Susan Barrett I appreciate that Oregon’s Stand for Children (SFC) chapter has responded to my post, but unfortunately this only further confirms for me that they have no interest in changing their agenda. In the past few days, I have been contacted by other parents who agree with me that Stand is not representing their concerns. For example, not once have I heard a parent say, “Gee, if only we had more Teach for America teachers, things would be …

Jonah Edelman and the Illinois Way: Model for the nation??

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

We in Illinois have just convicted yet another Illinois governor. This one was a Democrat. The last one was a Republican. We need to realize that it’s not about political party these days, it’s only – and completely – about who’s buying. Makes the Tea Partiers seem like they’re on to something, doesn’t it? In case you’re not already convinced that our state legislature is a disaster, or you think Blagojevich was just an aberration. read this transcript prepared by …

Jonah Edelman on outfoxing teachers' unions: Transcribed remarks

Posted on by CarolineSF

UPDATE: We just received a transcript of the whole session here. Recently we posted  the observations of Susan Barrett, a disaffected parent member of Stand for Children, which started as a grassroots organization in Oregon that has now gone nationwide; and, as Susan argued, changed its goals, governance and tactics along the way. Jonah Edelman,  its founder and the son of children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman,  has raised millions of dollars in funds from the Gates and Walton Foundations, as …

Stand for Children: A Hometown Perspective of its Evolution

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by Susan Barrett   I recently stepped down as a volunteer co-leader of a Stand for Children (SFC) team in Portland Oregon, the headquarters of this organization.  Being a SFC member has meant fighting for the needs of children and better public schools for all students in this state (see this pdf.) However, things have started changing here in Oregon, and I worry that SFC is headed down the path that disaffected parents, like me, identify as the corporate reform movement. I was …

Save Our Schools Calendar of Events

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Parents Across America is co-sponsoring and participating in the SOS conference and workshops at American University,  the rally,  and march  to the White House from July 28-July 30 in DC.  We are also co-hosting a reception with the SOS march organizers the evening of July 29. Please join us!  See discounts for travel and hotel below. We are also going to be visiting Senate and House offices on July 28; if you’d like to join us, email info@parentsacrossamerica.org Registration: There …

Chicago parking meters funding charter school

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

I’ve hated those &#@% Chicago parking meters ever since Mayor Daley privatized them and I got a $50 ticket on Mothers’ Day 2010. It was right after the new system was installed across the street from my church (no signs up – and the hours for the meter were changed over the weekend). So, now I read that Chicago Parking Meters –the company that Mayor Daley sold us out to — recently gave a $10,000 gift to a charter high …

PAA opposes House charter school bill

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Today Parents Across America (PAA) released a position paper opposing HR 2218, the so-called “Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act.”

Why Parents Across America oppose the charter school bill, HR 2218

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H.R. 2218 (bill summary) passed the House Education and Workforce Committee on June 22 by a vote of 34-5.  The five Democrats who voted against the bill are:  Reps. John Tierney (MA), Dennis Kucinich (OH),  Dave Loebsack (IA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), and Tim Bishop (NY). The bill is likely to be brought to the House floor before the August recess,  scheduled to begin August 8.  Parents, please send a similar message to your  Representatives, by calling or emailing their offices …

13 things the NEA hates about Arne Duncan

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According to Education Week, this resolution was  approved with a few minor changes by the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly today; cross posted as item C here. The NEA Representative Assembly directs the NEA President to communicate aggressively, forcefully, and immediately to President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that NEA is appalled with Secretary Duncan’s practice of: Weighing in on local hiring decisions of school and school district personnel. Supporting local decisions to fire all school …