Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Schools Matter: Come Out and Greet the Michelle First Campaign in Boston November 9

Schools Matter: Come Out and Greet the Michelle First Campaign in Boston November 9:

Come Out and Greet the Michelle First Campaign in Boston November 9

EVERY PARENT, STUDENT, TEACHER, PRINCIPAL, YOUTH WORKER, UNION MEMBER, PUBLIC SERVANT, and CONCERNED CITIZEN in the area should be at this event.

*PLEASE LET BYOP KNOW IF YOU'RE COMING THROUGH & HOW MANY PEOPLE YOU'RE BRINGING, IF YOU KNOW (:


WHEN EDUCATION IS UNDER ATTACK, WHAT DO WE DO?

I Got Nuttin’ But Love For Ya | The Jose Vilson

I Got Nuttin’ But Love For Ya | The Jose Vilson:

I Got Nuttin’ But Love For Ya

from Wikipedia

Musée de la Bible et de la Terre Sainte

I wear a mask when I go to work. It’s the Mr. Vilson mask, and it provides me the distance from people that my age (and respect) otherwise wouldn’t give me. I wear it when I get off the A train on the Dyckman – 200 St. stop. I wear it as I race up the stairs out of the train, aware of the teachers and students behind me. I wear it past the supermarket, the car wash, the library, the parking lot, and the custodians working around the garden in front of the school. I wear it past the school safety agents, down the hallways, and into the main office. I wear it into the office I share with the principal and a few others. I wear it all the way to the classroom, in the classroom, into the

School Tech Connect: Onward With SB 512

School Tech Connect: Onward With SB 512:

Onward With SB 512

Well, the bad news is that the #SB512 passed out of committee. The good news is that if we keep calling, we can stop it on the House floor, just like last time.

Did anyone see the action? Did Elaine Nekritz say anything intelligent before casting her vote or was she just sort of there? Is there any chance that a warm body might primary her? At this point I'd knock on doors for

Union rights win big in Ohio. « Fred Klonsky

Union rights win big in Ohio. « Fred Klonsky:

Union rights win big in Ohio.

Early returns predict a major defeat for Ohio Republican Governor Kasich.

His attempt to destroy collective bargaining is going down to defeat by a two to one margin in an election that was held today.

Ohio voters flocked to polls on Tuesday as Ohio Republican governor John Kasich awaited the results concerning a controversial law concerning collective bargaining.

Issue 2 is failing by a 63 percent to 37 percent. Earlier polls showed Issue 2, which would overturn Senate Bill 5, with a wide base of support.

SB512 passes out of Pension Committee to the full House.

This evening the Pension Committee of the House voted the pension killer, SB512 on to the full House on a 5 to 4 vote.

N0 votes were: Ray Poe, Daniel Biss, Daniel Burke, Karen May.

Yes votes were: Kevin McCarthy, Elaine Nekritz, Thomas Morrison, Darlene Senger, Dave Winters

Schools Matter: Reasons to Celebrate in Wake County--Five of Them Now

Schools Matter: Reasons to Celebrate in Wake County--Five of Them Now:

Reasons to Celebrate in Wake County--Five of Them Now

It's a done deal--sanity has returned to the Wake County School Board, and the Kochsters have been defeated!
WAKE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 3 (Vote For 1)
26 of 26 Precincts Reporting
PercentVotes
Kevin L. Hill
52.28%10,672
Heather Losurdo
47.72%9,740
20,412

Grumpy Educators: HELP Committee leaves out parents

Grumpy Educators: HELP Committee leaves out parents:

HELP Committee leaves out parents

Pearson lobbyist Sandy Krell was listed as a witness to the full Senate HELP committee hearing on the reauthorization of legislation affecting national education. The ESEA bill is to replace NCLB.

However, parents were excluded from the hearing. Not a single parent was allowed as a witness to express national concerns.

Here's a statement from Parents Across America on the lack of parent voices.

Today, Parents Across America sent a letter to the members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee after

Grumpy Educators: "Pearson" the corporate veil #ows

Grumpy Educators: "Pearson" the corporate veil:

"Pearson" the corporate veil

The practice of the Pearson Foundation paying for Education Commissioners trips to China, Singapore, and Finland to meet their counterparts was reported in the New York Times. Included in that list was former Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith, who went to Finland. Questioned about that trip, Smith says he checked with the Florida Department of Education's General Counsel to make sure

Florida: Bringing Parent Activism Out of the Shadows

In Brevard County, Florida, parents are fighting to keep the public schools in their communities open as the School Board looks for cost savings by closing schools that are considered too under capacity and moving the students to schools considered with room but not in the "under capacity" definition. These closures have nothing to do with the performance of the schools, teachers, or students.

American Consumers Say: These boots are made for walking.

Consumers participated in "Move Your Money" and "Bank Transfer" starting yesterday, a movement that is paying off for community credit unions and community banks. It all started with Bank of America's announcement to charge debit card fees. At least 650,000 consumers have already joined credit unions since Sept. 29, the day Bank of America announced plans to impose its controversial $5 debit card

NYC Public School Parents: NY Charter schools join the pushback vs. teacher evaluation and data systems promoted by the corp reformers

NYC Public School Parents: NY Charter schools join the pushback vs. teacher evaluation and data systems promoted by the corp reformers:

NY Charter schools join the pushback vs. teacher evaluation and data systems promoted by the corp reformers

Today the NY Charter Schools Association senta letter to the state’s charter schools, rejecting the demand from the State Education Department that they provide information that can link teachers to student test score to enable the creation of a statewide data system designed to evaluate teacher effectiveness.
It is ironic that the charter school lobby, which has been strengthened and supported by ArneDuncan and Gates and the rest of the corporate reformers, is resisting the sort of reductionistteacher evaluation system that was required for states to compete for federal Race to the Top funds, at the very same time that RTTT led to an increase in the numbers of charters.
Thus, charters could grow to significant part of the overall school system but remain exempt from the damaging prescriptions that the corp reformers want to impose on our public schools, and their

PAA letter to Senate HELP Committee: ESEA needs parent input! « Parents Across America



PAA letter to Senate HELP Committee: ESEA needs parent input! « Parents Across America:


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PAA letter to Senate HELP Committee: ESEA needs parent input!


Today, Parents Across America sent a letter to the members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee after noting that panelists testifying this morning at a committee hearing on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education law included no parent representatives.
PAA has reached out to the HELP committee repeatedly with our concern that parent voices are being left out of this critical discussion of the federal laws which will impact our children’s education for years to come.
Below is the text of the letter to the HELP committee, which includes PAA’s recommendations for an improved ESEA. A chart comparing PAA’s positions with the current Senate proposal is here.
***
November 8, 2011
Re: Reauthorization of ESEA
Dear Senator Harkin and members of the HELP Committee:
We applaud the fact that you included several teachers and other educators as witnesses in today’s important hearing on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. However, we were disappointed to see no parent representatives on the panel. As the primary stakeholders of the public schools, parents have a deep-rooted understanding of the challenges facing our educational system. Our perspective would provide valuable information and ought to be included in your deliberations.
Had a representative from Parents Across America been asked to testify, here’s what we would have said:
PAA opposes the current version of ESEA because, while some important modifications have been made, too many of the ineffective, damaging elements of NCLB remain in the Senate reauthorization proposal, and it does not address more important, fundamental problems facing our nation’s schools and students.
Specifically, instead of the rigid menu imposed on high-poverty schools needing improvement, including punitive school closings, privatization, or other set policies imposed from above with no track record of success, solutions should be devised through stakeholder input from the ground up, including parents. In addition, options should include research-based improvements such as class size reduction, expansion of preschool programs, and more parent involvement in decision making at all levels. Right now, schools with the most at-risk children are being closed or forced to arbitrarily fire half their staff. Not only does this seriously disrupt children’s lives, but it also undermines communities and fatally weakens the effort to recruit and keep high-quality teachers in our neediest schools. Given the harsh school budget cuts being carried out across the U. S., this is simply not the time to throw more precious education funds away on more experimental programs or damaging policies. with little oversight and few meaningful results.
We also feel strongly that parents must have the right to have their children opt out of high-stakes testing, and that any accountability
system should include multiple measures of success, including parent and teacher surveys. Attached please find a summary of specific
recommendations from PAA for a better ESEA, and a chart displaying our position on the current Senate bill.
We would welcome the opportunity to testify at any upcoming hearings called on the topic of ESEA reauthorization, or meet with legislators or staff at any time.
Thank you so much for your time and attention, and for your service to our children.
Sincerely,
Julie Woestehoff, Legislative Chair, Parents Across America
JulieW@ParentsAcrossAmerica.org
Parents Across America’s recommendations for a better ESEA
October 2011
ESEA should NOT:
* Promote policies that use standardized test scores or graduation data as the primary accountability measures for schools,
teachers or students. Overemphasis on such data encourages cheating and manipulation, and has led to narrowing of the
school curriculum and replacing important school subjects with math and reading test prep.
* Limit federally-mandated school improvement models to a narrow set of strategies, including school closing and privatization
and/or firing half the staff, which are punitive and have had little verified success. Right now the schools with the highest
needs students are being targeted for closure or other damaging prescriptions which disrupts children’s lives and communities,
and undermines any effort to recruit and keep high-quality teachers in our neediest schools.
* Mandate charter takeovers or other forms of outsourcing school management, which take resources from the schools attended by
most students and put them into private hands, with less oversight.
* Identify those schools needing improvement by means of rigid formulas that do not take into account the need level of the
student population.
* Continue the risky and damaging Race to the Top and innovation grant programs.
A better ESEA should include:
* Requirements that ensure fairly distributed, adequate resources in all public schools, so that every child receives a
high-quality education.
* Support for improving schools rather than closing them, by means of evidence-based solutions, including class size reduction and
expansion of preK programs, designed by parents and other stakeholders at the school level.
* Less emphasis on standardized testing and more reliable accountability and assessment practices including local,
teacher-designed assessments supplemented by other measures such as site visits and teacher and parent surveys.
* Programs that encourage the retention of professional, experienced teachers, especially in the most challenged schools.
* A full range of parent involvement opportunities including a stronger parent voice in decision making at the school,
district, state, and national levels.
* The right of parents to opt their children out of standardized tests.
The full version of the Parents Across America Position Paper on the Reauthorization of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) can be found here.

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