Requiem for a Librarian

Posted on by pagrundy

By Pamela Grundy I have never met anyone who loves books and reading more than Margaret Hollar, our Shamrock media specialist. That love shows in her face whenever she picks a book up from her desk, looks at the cover, then pages intently through, searching for a favorite passage.  It fills her voice as she expounds on characters or turns of phrase or the many different lessons she believes stories can teach. And it is shining at full force this …

Watch Out, Wisconsin: How to destroy a school system

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Here’s a heads-up from our friends at Defend Wisconsin on some of tea party Gov. Scott Walker’s plans for Wisconsin Public Schools

The Voices of Real Reform in NYC

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At the 5/19 premiere of The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, community members young and old spoke out about the struggle for real, grassroots education reform. Below are just a few of those speakers: Diane Ravitch – Education Historian Brian Jones – Educator, Actor and Activist Nijel Hill – Student, Paul Robeson HS, Brooklyn Brian DeVale – Principal, D14, Brooklyn, NY           Filmed at the premiere of ‘The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman’, 5/19/11 …

PAA endorses the Student Bill of Rights

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

The education “reformers” have been trying their darndest to get the nation to ignore the real crisis in American education: resource inequality. Thanks to Representative Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania, we have an opportunity to get school reform back on track and do the one thing that will make a real difference, especially for the most at-risk children. Rep. Fattah has re-introduced a bill that he originally filed back in 2002. The Student Bill of Rights is a powerful statement of …

Why teachers, parents are planning ‘Save Our Schools’ march

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Originally posted by Valerie Strauss on The Answer Sheet Public school teachers, parents and activists are organizing a July march and conference in Washington to send a message to federal officials that they oppose the standardized-test driven school reforms supported by the Obama administration and want sensible education policy. The event is called Save Our Schools & National Call to Action and is being organized by teachers and parents across the country. I asked two of the leaders — veteran …

Albany public schools defeat attack from charter school leaders

Posted on by Mark Mishler

Public school parents in Albany, NY breathed a sigh of relief late in the evening of May 17th when word came that voters passed the proposed school budget. This was despite an unprecedented effort by the leadership of the Brighter Choice Foundation, which controls all eleven existing charter schools in Albany, to have the school budget defeated. Many Albany homes received three anonymous mailings over the past several weeks urging a “no” vote on the school budget, as well as …

Standardized Testing: Playing into the Privatizers' Hands

Posted on by pagrundy

By Pamela Grundy The scene: a Board of Education meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina The situation: Board members are considering a motion to roll back an testing program that mandates high-stakes standardized tests for every child in every subject in every grade – a program that has sparked anger from teachers and parents across the district. “Coach” Joe White, a lifelong educator and the board’s longest-serving member, addresses the audience in a gravelly, passionate voice. These are dangerous times, he …

Class bias, class size and online learning: shame on them!

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It’s not enough that school districts across the country are laying off teachers right and left and increasing class size to intolerable levels.  It seems that the DC think tanks are absolutely dedicated towards further encouraging this trend and destroying any efforts to retain equitable class sizes in our public schools. Last week in the Daily News, Chester Finn of the conservative Fordham Institute attacked the whole notion of class size reduction, proposing that putting kids on computers instead would …

Chicago Tribune's response to the PAA parent trigger position

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

The Chicago Tribune didn’t publish PAA’s own letter about parent trigger laws, even though their April 29th editorial specifically slammed our position. But a few days ago they did print this letter from one of the unions involved in the only parent trigger shoot-out so far: This is in response to your April 30 editorial “Parent power.” When you refer to the McKinley Elementary School petition in Compton, Calif., as “parent-powered, child-focused,” you ignore the fact that the petition was …

Myron Miner on the underlying motives of the corporate reform crowd hools

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Many have wondered why the corporate reformers in charge of school districts in NYC, Chicago, and elsewhere are so eager to undermine the quality of education in our public schools, in favor of charter operators that drain our public school system of resources and space.  Myron Miner of Last Stand for Children First gives us the inside scoop: This week the Illinois Chapter of Last Stand for Children First joined students across the state in celebrating historic legislation that is …