Upcoming Elections: The Effect on Public Education
A report from Kimberly Brooks, leader of PAA-Atlanta Public Schools:
I attended an electors forum for the board of education. One of the panel questions was about operations and clusters followed by what characteristics a superintendent should have. This new "clustering" is definitely on the table.
For those of you who don't know, a cluster system is similar to the traditional feeder-school system. From kindergarten to twelve, students within the same community will attend a set of schools within that community. The catch is that these different communities are asking for funding for their clusters within the school system independently.
All officials did discuss the decentralization of school systems management to ultimately place the principals in a position to manage their schools. While this sounds good, it is made with the assumption that the right principals with the right values and experience are in these positions. This is not true. Our schools have yet to provide permanent principals in each school since the cheating scandal, an effort that requires a stable board and superintendent to start with. So...most of the candidates appear business oriented more than community and educational leaders.
To make a long story longer (lol), after attending another forum for officials running for city council it appears that this election could be the start of not only more privatization in our school system but an intentionally disproportionate allocation of education resources and funds. Students are gauged by a community's ability to provide for the students' needs versus Atlanta Public Schools' budget to supply those needs to those economically disadvantaged.
So, this "clustering" idea could be a trap. Those schools and students can then be easily targeted for "educational reform" and labeled students that "just don't perform well," ultimately justifying decentralization because the needs of "these" students burden the system. I feel that Atlanta Public Schools systems does not have the foundation to make these decisions yet. Our leadership is unstable.
Florida state senator needs our help opposing more tests
Maria de Lourdes Pérez Ramírez, the leader of PAA's Florida-based affilate, HispanEduca, met with a Florida legislator who told her that the state is considering hiring ACT and all its testing battery. He is opposed - but needs our help.
Lourdes says, "This is a good opportunity to directly help a legislator who is against standardized testing altogether, but he is asking for alternatives. This is one instance we need to join as many forces as possible (teachers, parents, organizations, and the public) and make ourselves public."
Florida folk, please reach out to support her and the legislator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lourdes also wants to share this announcement:
Save the Date for the official release of results from the OECD's 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
> PISA Day 2013
> Tuesday, December 3, 2013
> 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (ET)
> Washington, DC
Please reserve December 3, 2013, to attend and participate in PISA Day, an event complete with meetings and digital presentations focused on the results of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and their implications for U.S. education policy from practices of high-performing nations in using assessments to advance college- and career -ready standards.
Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will present the findings. Representatives from partner organizations will comment on the findings and the lessons for U.S. policymakers and educators.
Please direct questions to Bob Rothman at 202-828-0828 or email@example.com.