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Free speech for teachers has been muzzled

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

By Danielle Arnold-Schwartz, leader of PAA-Suburban Philadelphia I am grateful to live in a country where we have had First Amendment rights since 1791.  “This clause prohibits the government from banning speech because it does not agree with the message… James Madison pointed to freedom of speech as a vital aspect of a healthy republic. While originally written to apply to actions of the federal government, the Supreme Court incorporated it into state governments through the Fourteenth Amendment in the …

Congress: Listen to parents!

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Please share this fax with your Congressional representatives and senators (downloadable pdf) Listen to Parents! Parent Voices Weekly Education Fax July 25, 2013  Survey: Parents oppose testing, school closings and “choice” American Federation of Teachers survey shows most parents want less testing, charter schools and school closings and more support for neighborhood public schools. From the AFT press release: Most parents with children in public schools do not support recent changes in education policy, from closing low-performing schools to shifting …

Take it from parents: teenagers are people, not data points

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

A Blog Post by Wendy Lecker, Sarah Darer Littman and Jonathan Pelto, members of PAA-Connecticut. Ask any parent, high school student or teacher- 11th grade is hell. Aside from the heavy course-load, juniors have to suffer through a litany of standardized tests- and these ones count: SATs, SAT subject tests, ACTs, APs. Could anyone make junior year any worse? Why yes! Thank President Obama, Secretary Duncan, and Governor Malloy, Commissioner Pryor, the State Board of Education and Connecticut’s esteemed legislators. …

Justice for the children of Atlanta

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

This article was written by PAA-Atlanta/GA/Atlanta Public Schools chapter leader Kimberly Brooks, whose children attended one of the schools where officials have been indicted for racketeering in connection with widespread standardized test cheating. **** My name is Kimberly Brooks, parent of two children that attended Parks Middle School in Atlanta, where the principal was recently indicted for cheating on state tests. For the past two years the Atlanta Public School system has gained the attention of the nation. The most …

More Texas testing resistance!

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

From Karen Miller: The Texas House of Representatives voted 3/26 to reduce high stakes tests required for Texas high school graduation from 15 to 5 tests:  English II reading and writing, algebra I, biology and US history. House public education committee chair, Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, began the marathon nine hour debate by asking the members four questions: *Are we over-testing our students? *Is it ok for a child to find a path outside of a four year college degree? …

Chicago testing forum with Seattle’s Jesse Hagopian

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Garfield High School teacher and MAP test boycott leader Jesse Hagopian told the crowd at the Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago last Thursday night that he agreed with Arne Duncan that education is the civil rights movement of our time. But history teacher Jesse reminded us that the last major civil rights movement started with a boycott….and this time it might just be a test boycott. All the speakers for our “The…

Weekly LegFax: Too much testing!

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Parent Voices Weekly Education Fax March 13, 2013  Replace massive standardized testing with meaningful assessment  The story: Parents and students across the U.S. are opting out of standardized tests A Texas mother and her son share outdoor learning while his schoolmates are indoors taking the state test (http://tinyurl.com/axwmhgq). Teachers and students in Seattle boycotted the state high school test (http://tinyurl.com/a4zmrqs). Chicago parents are passing petitions to stop the explosion of tests (http://tinyurl.com/a7pwkx9). Oregon parents are standing behind their high school …

Chicago parents in solidarity with Seattle teachers

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

Press Alert February 4, 2013 Chicago Public School parents to pass petitions to limit CPS testing  Joining National Day of Action to Support Seattle MAP Test Boycott Who: Parents from at least 34 CPS schools will be passing petitions opposing the misuse and overuse of tests in CPS.   What: The petitions ask CPS and the Chicago Board of Education to limit standardized testing and provide more transparency about the cost, amount and stakes of the 22 tests now being …

Better than tests- a Chicago forum with FairTest’s Monty Neill

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

If not tests, then what? That question was soundly answered On January 24, 2013, at the forum, “Assessments that Make Sense” in the south side Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. A room crowded with parents, teachers, students and community members from all over the city heard FairTest’s Monty Neill  (pictured right) present two successful alternatives to standardized testing accountability: the Performance Assessment student project-based model used in New York in place of state Regents’ exams, and the Learning Record, a teacher- …

Why, as a parent, I support Garfield teachers’ opposition to excessive and inaccurate testing

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff

By Sue Peters, founding member, Parents Across America Originally published in EdVoices on January 30, 2013, republished with permission For his first school-library experience in kindergarten, my five-year-old son was not allowed to check out a book. Instead he was placed in front of a computer with a set of headphones and told to take a test for an hour. That was my family’s introduction to the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP®), a computerized, adaptive test for math and English, …