December NEWSBLAST

News From

New Jersey   New York   Pennsylvania   Illinois   Chicago   Florida   Texas   California   Vermont   Oklahoma   Massachusetts   Rhode Island   Washington

NATIONAL

Report Shows Huge $$ In Ed Testing:

A new industry report shows just how huge the Common Core testing windfall is in dollar amounts, the 2012-2013 dollar figures is around $2,500,000,000. That’s two and a half billion. With a “b”.

SOS Members Attending and Facilitating UOO Event:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” –  Dr. King
SOSers will be attending and facilitating workshops at the United Opt Out National: Standing Up for Action Event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on  January 16 – January 19, 2015. 

SOS Will Attend the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee in 2015 for the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday March:

This historic three day event commemorates the Selma to Montgomery marches. The Bloody Sunday and the two marches that followed were marches and protests held in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement.

STATE NEWS

WASHINGTON

  • Washington Governor Jay Inslee is likely to propose a more than $1 billion revenue package when he unveils his proposed two-year budget.
  •  Garfield high teacher Jesse Hagopian: Standardized tests ‘disproportionately impact students of color’.
  • Hagopian led the “Scrap the MAP” boycott at Garfield H.S., Seattle.  His book:  More Than A Score is now out.
  • WA  state now has a local moderate Republican who is working on Opt Out legislation which will protect the school and teachers from zero scores.

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Pennsylvania axes reading specialist programs.
  •  The Philadelphia City Council has unanimously passed a resolution calling on the School Reform Commission to “analyze the financial and human impact of standardized testing, and to identify strategies to minimize its use, and to request a waiver of the Keystone Exams from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to adopt assessments that better serve local needs and priorities.”
LOUISIANA
  • Louisiana teachers lose again.
  •  After Hurricane Katrina, 7,500 public school teachers and other staff were fired by the new Recovery School District. Three-quarters of them were African American. Eventually almost every public school was converted to a privately managed charter school, many staffed by Teach for America corps members.

OHIO

  • Stephen Dyer: Public Schools in Ohio Out Perform Charters
  • There are good charters and bad charters, but on the whole, the findings are negative for students in charters. Over 40% of charters are doing very poorly. The students in these schools fall farther behind every year.
  • “Overall, kids in charters lose 36 days of math and 14 days of reading to their traditional public school counterparts. Of the 68 statistically significant differences CREDO found between charters and public schools, 56 showed a negative charter school impact, and 12 showed a positive one.”

GEORGIA

  • Georgia’s Crazy Approach to Education
  • If it isn’t working, do more of it. While education “reform” is an issue as old as the republic, Georgia’s approaches to it are crazier than any patchwork quilt. Georgia bounces around from one quick fix to the next, routinely ignore research about what works, and use ideas that have never been tested.

FLORIDA

  • Assistant Superintendent resigns over excessive testing
  • Amelia Larson has worked for a few years as an assistant superintendent for student achievement in the Pasco County School District in Florida. Now she is resigning, and going out with something of a blast.
  • “Florida’s current system is reckless and will inevitably hurt the very children it is aiming to protect while also alienating the very professionals it needs to carry the work. While serving as assistant superintendent over the past two years, I have always asked the question of every situation: ‘Is this best for kids?’ My answer to Florida’s current accountability system is, ‘No, this is absolutely not good for kids.'”

MICHIGAN

  • The State of Michigan has no obligation to provide quality education…
  • In a shocking decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the state has no legal responsibility to provide a quality education to every child. The case centered on the Highland Park School District, where achievement was lagging; the state turned the entire district over to a for-profit charter operator that had no track record of improving low-performing schools. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed the suit.

TENNESSEE

  • Everybody Hates Chris
  • From Memphis to Nashville, the ASD, the state run Achievement School District, has become so increasingly unpopular among parents, students, and teachers that communities have gone from begging and pleading to now demanding that the state-run ASD and its system of low achieving charter schools stay away from their children. – Momma Bears Blog

NEW YORK

  • Good News – Bad News: GOOD NEWS: Commissioner John King is resigning.       BAD NEWS: John King was appointed last week to be an “advisor” to Arne Duncan at the DOE. LESSON: The beatings will continue until morale improves.
  • New York Activists and Mayor’s education department continues to work to secure equitable funding and smaller class sizes.

ILLINOIS

  • Chicago, there was a push in the state legislature to cut $38 million from the poor schools (89% poverty) in Chicago. People overwhelmed the hearing room and it was decided not to cut the $.
  • The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School campaigns to encourage school boards  to retain current open enrollment neighborhood schools and start new ones.
  • Two candidates for office who support elected school board. Both mayoral candidates opposing Rahm Emanuel, Jesus Chuy Garcia and Bob Fioretti, support the movement to return Chicago’s School Board to the status of an elected board. Major grass roots effort by a coalition of parents, students and community groups  forms.

  

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Save Our Schools is dedicated to public education as the cornerstone of a democratic society. We are committed to education policy and actions that allow students, teachers, families, and communities to work together to meet the needs of all children.

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