» education reform

A great day for public education

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Report from the 4-state regional Parents Across America/Public Schools Across America action planning meeting on February 25, 2013 Seventy-five public school activists from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois braved ice and cold to come together for a half-day regional action planning meeting in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this past Saturday, Feb 23. This energetic and positive meeting was a great start to what we hope will be coordinated action across our four states and beyond to support and strengthen public schools …

The Weekly Update: Charter schools: Public or private? Brian Jones in Portland, teachers rally in Illinois and a petition to Obama: Stop privatizing our schools!

Posted on by Dora Taylor

The Weekly Update: For the news and views you might have missed First up, more Facebook pages are popping up on the subject of education: Our Village Our Schools Public Education Crusaders Long Island Chapter Save Our Schools March 350 This one is related to the climate crisis and I post it on this blog because it does affect our children. Next up, a petition to be sent to President Obama. Maybe one of these days he’ll start to listen …

Action of the week for 12-20-12: Welcome your new Senators and Congressmen

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Send a welcome letter to your new Senators and Congressmen! You can use this letter which we just e-mailed to Senators-elect Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)  and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who will be new members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. We will send similar letters to other new members as well as any new members of the House Education and the Workforce committee, as we learn of their appointments. December 20, 2012 Dear Senator-elect: Congratulations …

A Connecticut parent’s letter to President Obama

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Parents Across America grieves with the community of Newtown, Connecticut over the loss of their precious children and educators. The following letter, sent yesterday to President Obama from the founder of Parents Across America-CT, expresses some aspects of what many of our members are feeling at this difficult time. Hon. President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear President Obama: As a public school parent of three in Stamford, Connecticut, I wanted to thank …

Are charter schools the answer to – or one reason for – Chicago’s violence?

Posted on by admin

Twenty-four students were fatally shot during the school year that ended June 15, four fewer than in the 2010-11 year. But the overall shooting toll — 319 — was the highest in four years and a nearly 22 percent increase from the previous school year. The rise in shootings of CPS students compounds concerns over an alarming increase in the city’s homicide rate. Through June 17, homicides are up about 38 percent citywide this year compared with the same period in …

PAA letter to House Education committee on ESEA

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on new House proposals to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Some day we hope that the committee will include real parent voices in their hearings. Until then, we need to keep the letters coming, Here’s what we faxed to the committee members today (feel free to copy, sign, and send to your own congresspeople). We are working on a more detailed position statement on the …

ESEA begins another year's journey

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Experts are predicting (also here) that the No Child Left Behind Act will not be revised in 2012. Meanwhile, Republican House education committee leaders are planning to change strategy and write a more comprehensive ESEA bill, dropping their efforts to come to agreement with Democrats on a set of issue-specific pieces and preparing a larger bill like the one passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last October. The House committee has already passed individual bills …

PSAT for 9-6-11: Commit to valuing all children

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Today is the traditional first day of school across the US. That tradition has eroded in many places due to so-called year-round school schedules, experiments like Paul Vallas’s short-term effort to game state tests by adding a few weeks in at the beginning of the school year, and a host of local variables. Another tradition that seems to have eroded (if it ever truly existed) is that of valuing all children. These days, politicians and media types are boldly yammering …

Next target of ed "reformers" – democracy

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

“Reformers” next target: “one-size-fits-all” democracy Now that they’ve had some success destroying public education, the school reform privateers are setting their sights on something even more precious and fundamental to our nation – our democracy. You see, democracy is “messy” and “one-size-fits-all” and has a pesky habit of getting in the way of even more mega profits and oligarchic* control, which the Bill Gateses and Eli Broads feel is their due. Last week, former Chicago Tribune honcho James Warren wrote …

Steven Brill's blinkered thinking in the Wall Street Journal

Posted on by admin

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 …