Welcome new affiliate! Charleston Area Community Voice for Education is PAA's newest affiliate. For more information contact email@example.com.
Last week was the March 1 National Day of Action for Education in Seattle. Parents Across America, Seattle was one of the sponsors of this event. The event included a Teach-In about charter schools given by University of Washington Professor and Rethinking Schools editor Wayne Au. There was a Policy Throwdown - a General Assembly style open discussion of education and charter school issues facilitated by Seattle Public School teacher Jesse Hagopian. We also held a rally in front of the Gates Foundation in Seattle. Read more here.
From PAA- New Orleans
The town touted by Duncan et al as the prime example of how privatizing our public schools has tbeen a shining success, PAA's Karran Harper Royal, talks to Andrea Merida, another PAA parent in Denver, about the reality behind the myth of school choice. A highly recommended video: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/20613374
From New York
Our affiliate, Class Size Matters, led a battle to persuade the NYC newspapers not to publish the city's confidential and unreliable Teacher Data Reports, based solely on value-added calculations from student test scores. The organization sponsored a petition on change.org that garnered hundreds of signatures; the petition was mentioned in the New York Times and elsewhere. Leonie Haimson, the Executive Director of CSM and a PAA co-founder, was interviewed on television, the Wall Street Journal, and the Daily News about how unreliable these reports really are - and how their publication would unfairly tarnish the reputations of countless teachers.
Nevertheless, the data with names attached was posted by all the major dailies, and some even ran stories along with photos, claiming they had identified "NYC's worst teachers." Leonie pointed out on her blog the scary national implications of this event. Teachers throughout the country may soon experience a similar fate, with their unreliable performance ratings released to the public, as numerically based teacher evaluation systems -- based at least in part on standardized test scores -- are being developed in at least 33 states, as a result of the US Education Department's "Race to the Top" program and NCLB waivers. These unreliable ratings will too be vulnerable to release and publication - and may further damage morale, cause even higher teacher turnover rates and dissuade otherwise dedicated candidates from considering a career as a public school teacher.