Nova High School Hosting “War on Kids”

Public Education and the Rights of Youth, PERY, will be hosting its’ first annual forum sponsored by Nova High School on Sunday, May 16th, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Here are the specifics for this event: Public Education and the Rights of Youth Sunday, May 16, 10a-3pm Nova High School 300 – 20th Avenue East Seattle, WA 98112 Free. donations welcome! Please join us on for a viewing of the important film The War on Kids followed by lunch and community conversations. 10:00- Welcome, introductions and coffee 10:30- showing of War on Kids 12:15- lunch, talk-back 1:00- workshop sessions*, … Continue reading Nova High School Hosting “War on Kids”

Letter to Congress

This letter was drafted by the authors of the website Class Size Matters and was sent this morning, May 3, 2010. To the Congress: As public school parents and parent advocates, we have grave reservations about the “Blueprint” for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) put forward by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. So far, the parent voice has been missing from the debate and is entirely absent from the top-down and often draconian proposals being put forward by this administration. This approach can be characterized as oblivious at best; at worst, it is highly disrespectful … Continue reading Letter to Congress

School Board Testimony Regarding Dr. Goodloe-Johnson

Alyssa Royse, a parent, provided this testimony in the Seattle School Board meeting held on April 21, 2010. Maria Goodloe-Johnson’s contract is up for renewal.  It is time for us to ask what we are getting from her, and if it is worth renewing the contract of a woman who is done little to help a struggling system.   As the parent of a student at South Shore – just now emerging from an air quality problem that quickly turned into a communications crisis – the problems we faced perfectly reflect the problems the district faces under the leadership of … Continue reading School Board Testimony Regarding Dr. Goodloe-Johnson

Arne Duncan and the Chicago Success Story: Myth or Reality?

  Posted in Spring 2009, Rethinking Schools By Jitu Brown, Eric (Rico) Gutstein, and Pauline Lipman When ex-President Bush was elected in 2000, he brought with him former Houston Superintendent of Education Rod Paige to be Secretary of Education. He also brought the “Texas miracle” who supposedly increased test scores attributed to Texas’ strict accountability system. All eyes smiled on Texas as those measures quickly became part of No Child Left Behind, passed into law in 2001 by both political parties. Before the end of Bush’s first term, Paige would leave in disgrace, thanks to revelations of cooked scores, forced-out … Continue reading Arne Duncan and the Chicago Success Story: Myth or Reality?

Notes from the Field: Citywide PTSA Meeting on April 22, 2010 with Olga Addae, SEA President

I went to this meeting because Olga Addae, the Seattle Education Association President, was to introduce herself and SEA and provide information on the association. When I arrived there were about five PTSA members and one teacher. By the end of the meeting there were three more PTSA members including myself. I was expecting more parents to attend but that’s why I write these notes. I know how it is with work and family. First there was the Council business. I arrived late and came in during the presentation made by a representative from the Office of the Education Ombudsman. … Continue reading Notes from the Field: Citywide PTSA Meeting on April 22, 2010 with Olga Addae, SEA President

Teacher seniority pays off, especially for students

With Pat Bailey’s permission, I am posting this editorial that was published in the Seattle Times on March 23, 2010. Teacher seniority helps ensure quality education for students, writes guest columnist Patricia Bailey. The Seattle School Board should not try to undo seniority in upcoming negotiations, as some community petitions are urging. By Patricia Bailey With community petitions calling for the Seattle School Board to undo teacher seniority in the upcoming negotiations, it’s time to put an end to the myth about ineffective public-school teachers being protected from termination. Those of us who teach in the K-12 public schools use … Continue reading Teacher seniority pays off, especially for students

Why Speed Kills an Education

An interesting point of view from a teacher that I wanted to post in it’s entirety. To see the source of this post, go to Testing Abuse. Why ‘Speed’ Kills An Education The current trend in education is to get feedback about student progress instantly. Why? There’s a race going on, don’t you know? We have to be smarter, faster, and better than all other countries. Or so the thought goes. Handheld devices called iRespond created by EduTrax are designed to do just this with regards to testing in the classroom. They are given to each student so that when … Continue reading Why Speed Kills an Education

I Am A Teacher in Florida

This was originally posted on our original blog on April 11, 2010. This poem has reached the office of a Senator in Florida where they were battling over a bill that included performance pay and high stakes testing. The governor recently vetoed the bill. Written by Jamee Cagle Miller 2009 Seminole County Teacher of the Year I am a Teacher in Florida. I rise before dawn each day and find myself nestled in my classroom hours before the morning commute is in full swing in downtown Orlando. I scour the web along with countless other resources to create meaningful learning … Continue reading I Am A Teacher in Florida

Where Do We Go From Here?

This was posted originally in the fall of 2009 and has been brought over from our first blog. Privatization is about making a profit, whether it’s utilities, war or education. In states where access to public water has been privatized, the average cost of water to the public is 30% higher. The cost of handling waste water is on average 60% higher in those states. No bid contracts or lack of contracts with private enterprise during the Iraq war and little or no oversight by the government caused cost overruns to soar. We have so little money for education in … Continue reading Where Do We Go From Here?

Notes From the Field: The Alliance Meeting on “Teacher Quality” held on April 20, 2010

“No Time” Everything is controlled and scripted, from the time you walk up to the door of the building until you leave. I arrived early, thinking that I could hand out a few flyers before the meeting but there was nowhere to comfortably stand. It was the territory of the Alliance from the front door into the area that we were to meet, very similar to how the Alliance handled the NCTQ event. So I went inside to see what was going on. I was directed to an area where they were serving dinner and I must say it was … Continue reading Notes From the Field: The Alliance Meeting on “Teacher Quality” held on April 20, 2010

The Stars Have Aligned for the Broad Foundation

From the Broad Foundation’s Annual Report for 2009: “The election of President Barack Obama and his appointment of Arne Duncan, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, as the U.S. secretary of education, marked the pinnacle of hope for our work in education reform. In many ways, we feel the stars have finally aligned. With an agenda that echoes our decade of investments—charter schools, performance pay for teachers, accountability, expanded learning time and national standards—the Obama administration is poised to cultivate and bring to fruition the seeds we and other reformers have planted.” If anyone ever doubted that our Secretary of … Continue reading The Stars Have Aligned for the Broad Foundation