YAY! PAA in Reign of Error
Check out the
under "P"!"Manufactured STEM crisis": Sharon Higgins in Diane Ravitch's blog
Diane's September 14 blog
included comments from PAA founding member Sharon Higgins on the hype surrounding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, which has been driving a lot of education reform strategies and the push for the Common Core. Sharon calms the STEM tide with some facts: there is no shortage of scientists, and jobs in STEM-related fields are not as hot as the rhetoric would suggest.
|North Portland Math Lab|
Successful "Girls Lead Summer Math Camp"
STEM rhetoric aside, all students need excellent math instruction, and Great Schools for America reports on a recent success led by Deb Mayer, one of PAA's Portland OR leaders.
Deb writes, "Girls Lead Summer Math Camp was a success. Now we want to keep the program going by continuing with a math center in the neighborhood to serve needy children struggling in math. Over the next few weeks and months, we would like to see Key Math Lab PDX find a permanent home and stable funding to serve the kids in North Portland. Could the selection of an inferior math text/publisher affect the math education of a generation of students? We think it's possible. Read the full story here.
Mecklenburg ACTS goes to the Board of Education
The Charlotte Observer reported on a protest by PAA North Carolina affiliate Mecklenburg ACTS at this week's local school board meeting.
PAA founding member and leader of Mecklenburg ACTs, Pamela Grundy, writes:
"This past Tuesday, MecklenburgACTS.org and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Association of Educators officially presented the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education with a request to stop administering the Measures of Student Learning (MSLs), a set of federally-mandated exams designed to evaluate the state's teachers under the terms of North Carolina's Race to the Top grant and No Child Left Behind waiver. ("Let Teachers Teach")
"When the MSLs debuted this past spring, they were broadly criticized for flawed design as well as for diverting tremendous amounts of time and energy from teaching and learning. Because the state had provided no funds for administering or grading the exams, districts had to shoulder the administration costs, and teachers had to grade the exams themselves - with no additional compensation.
"Outcry over the exams was so great that the state of North Carolina has asked the U.S. Department of Education for permission to slow the exam rollout and consider alternatives. But that process is unlikely to move quickly enough to stop the exams planned for this fall. Rather than force our teachers and students to waste more time with these problematic exams, we believe that our Board of Education should do the right thing and stop the exams in CMS."
Read Pam's blog, "Why we asked our Board of Education to stop our state's new tests," here
on the PAA site.
Julie Woestehoff on Rahm Emanuel in Chicago Tribune
Just after starting the year with 49 fewer schools -- necessary, according to officials, because of budget shortfalls -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been on a spending spree, announcing new school additions and other enhancements for schools in mostly middle class neighborhoods.
Today's Chicago Tribune quoted PAA co-founder Julie Woestehoff saying:
"I think it's becoming pretty clear that there's money, and crying poor a few months ago, which required the closure of all those schools, was just smoke and mirrors," said Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education. "Now they're pulling out all these projects.
"The mayor thinks he's going to win people back after he's decimated the system, but I think he's going to find out this is not going to work," Woestehoff said. "He can't be Lord Bountiful now that he's known as the one who destroyed the school system."