The Christian Science Monitor
has just named "Educational Courage" one of the Top 15 "Must-Read" Books about K-12 Education in the US: "'Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education,'
edited by Nancy Schniedewind and Mara Sapon-Shevin, is a book of personal essays by experts, parents, educators, activists, and others affected by education reform. It places many of the assumptions that underlie American education policy (i.e., "Education is failing, and the teachers are to blame") in critical perspective. The essays tell some of the human stories that have emerged from education reform, from that of a third-grader so stressed by high-stakes testing that she wound up in a psychiatric unit, to a teacher who left Teach for America
to advocate for public schools."
One of these personal essays was written by PAA co-founder Julie Woestehoff, of Chicago's Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE).
The publishers, Beacon Press, have created an "Educational Courage" web site
for further information and action ideas related to the book. Some of PURE's tip sheets and fact sheets, which Julie mentions in her essay, are linked in the "Practical Materials"
section of the site.
Buy the book from Beacon
, on Amazon
, or on other sites.Sojourners Magazine
just published a blog comment/letter to the editor
Julie wrote in response to a previous article by Nicole Baker Fulgham, "Beyond 'Superman,'
" which discussed the "Won't Back Down" movie and recommended that meaningful reform must involve all stakeholders having a stronger, more meaningful voice in school decision-making. PAAers on the air
Julie was also interviewed on National Public Radio
a week ago on "Won't Back Down," saying, "The problem is the packaging of this movie as part of a whole propaganda campaign promoting charter schools and going after teachers unions."
PAA Philadelphia affiliate member Helen Gym debated the head of the Commonwealth Foundation, a think tank promoting the free market, on the parent trigger, charters and equity, on the local Philadelphia NPR affiliate radio station. Listen here
. Tales of Karran
Parents Across America Founding Member Karran Harper-Royal recently spoke at the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association's annual conference. Her keynote speech, "From New Orleans to New Zealand with Love: A Warning About Disaster Capitalism and Public Education," opened the PPTA's annual conference.
|PAA founder Karran Harper Royal speaks in New Zealand |
(Photo from www.ppta.org/nz)
Karran said there is a parallel between the way charter schools are being forced on the New Zealand population - particularly in quake-stricken Christchurch - and the situation in New Orleans, and urged Kiwis to work against similar mistakes being made in their country.
"I am honored to be here to share with you what has happened in New Orleans as we struggle to survive after our own educational disaster. I can't go back in time and fix that, but what I can do is share our experience with the rest of the world so they don't have to suffer the plight that we have. We were so shell-shocked after Katrina that we never saw it coming - but you have a chance to put a stop to it. Through our shared struggle we will be able to save our children as our education system is attacked," she said.
More at ppta.org/nz. NOLA School Board election
Campaign contributions for the New Orleans school board race, which PAA's Karran Harper Royal jumped into at the last minute, are raising interest in the press
Karran is opposed by two charter school advocates, including Sarah Usdin; Karran's "warchest" is only about 5% of the $110,000 Usdin has been able to collect from corporate reformer like Joel Klein.
Read more about Karran's campaign here
. For charters or children?
Wendy Lecker, our PAA leader from Connecticut, wrote this excellent article
for the Stamford Advocate which was later subject of a blog post
by Diane Ravitch, who said, "Wendy Lecker, advocate for public education in Connecticut, raises important questions.
Why was Hartford's low-performing Milner School handed over to charter operator Jumoke Academy? Why did Hartford officials do nothing to help Milner until the charter school took over? Why did Jumoke get $2 million to fix Milner but no help was available to Milner before the takeover? Lecker asks: is the responsibility of the state to help the kids or to help grow the charter sector?"