Stealth U.S. charter network linked to Gulen raises concerns

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The New York Times this week published an investigative report about the financial practices of a sizable group of Texas charter schools being operated by the followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic religious leader “whose devotees have built a worldwide religious, social and nationalistic movement in his name.” While the New York Times focused on Texas schools, members of the Gulen movement have actually started schools all over the United States – approximately 120 charter schools in 25 states, …

Support the Student Bill of Rights and an equitable chance to learn!

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Below is a press release sent yesterday from the office of Congressman Chaka Fattah, Second District of Pennsylvania, about a letter many of our organizations sent to his office in support of his reintroduction of the Student Bill of Rights Act, posted here: The Student Bill of Rights, H.R. 129. Rep. Fattah has been a long champion of the federal government’s working with states to address very serious resource disparities between school districts that mean some children are provided the …

The life-long effect of Kindergarten cut-off dates

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Cross-posted at NYC Public School Parents. This NY Times article talks about how the increased academic pressure on Kindergarten students is leading many states to move their cut off dates earlier in the year. NYC public schools continue to have among the latest cut offs for Kindergarten, December 31, according to the allied chart. New York City private school cut off dates are much earlier; and it is very common when a child is applying to a private school, especially …

Ten reasons not to hire Goodloe-Johnson as FLA Ed commissioner

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Apparently, the search firm hired to find someone willing to serve as the new state education commissioner in Florida is finding it difficult and has recommended extending the deadline, which is not altogether surprising, considering Gov. Rick Scott’s highly controversial education policies. One of the few candidates under consideration is Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, a Broad-trained superintendent who was fired in disgrace from Seattle, and then failed to be hired as schools chief in Newark NJ, despite the fact that former …

Plan to host Teach for America at Univ. of Washington highlights hypocrisy of ed reform

Posted on by suep.

A controversial new plan to host and fast-track Teach for America recruits alongside regular M.A. teaching students at Seattle’s University of Washington sparks protests and highlights the hypocrisy and double standards of ed reform The doublespeak of ed reformers who repeatedly declare that the key to a successful education is to put an “excellent” teacher in every classroom, and then turn around and promote young, Teach for America recruits — with only five weeks’ training, no in-class experience, and only …

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 …