Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Education Advocacy Roster

My, but there sure are a lot of education advocacy groups in and around Seattle. There are so many, I'm not sure how the Gates Foundation (which, I think, funds them all) keeps track of them.

Let's see how many we can count.

League of Education Voters

Stand for Children

Partnership for Learning

Alliance for Education

Community Center for Education Results

Seattle Council PTSA


Each of these groups has an executive director and a staff that all are making a living from advocating all the same things as all of the other groups. Why do we need so many of them? Why can't they all just merge, like LEV and the New School Foundation did? Wouldn't that cut redundant staff and mean more resources for students?

Beyond the general education advocacy groups, there are others.

There are a couple special interest advocacy groups:

Washington STEM

Where's the Math?

ArtsEd Washington

Washington State Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER)


Then there are the think tanks:

Center on Reinventing Public Education

Washington Policy Center

Center for Educational Leadership

Freedom Foundation (formerly the Evergreen Freedom Foundation)


There are teacher (or anti-teacher) groups:

The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession

National Council on Teacher Quality

Teachers United

Seattle Education Association


And a few parent advocacy groups:

Community and Parents for Public Schools

Parents Across America - Seattle

The Parents Union


Please remind me of any I've forgotten so I can add them to this roster.

15 comments:

dan dempsey said...

I do not think that Parents Across America - Seattle has a paid director and staff that are making salaries that amount to much (if anything).

PAA is not likely to receive Gates Funds unless they change their message.

dan dempsey said...

Do not forget "Where's the Math?"

Eric M said...

Don't forget Chris Eide (former super-dedicated, erasing the achievement gap at Mercer Middle School 'n' married to Bree Dusseault) has a group-without-a -website + super-secret board called TEACHERS UNITED!

Chris informed us at the protest against Apple a couple of weeks ago (which he was NOT there to support, but rather spy upon) that being a teacher and an activist was too time-consuming, so he's gone full time as an activist. Who's paying his salary now?

Although he identifies himself as head, president, CEO, and chief strategist of Teachers United, there are no other teachers we know of who will identify themselves as part of his organization.

Many of us teachers think the full name of his organization

is......drum-roll.......

Teachers United (Against Teachers)

Sahila said...

Parents Across America Seattle is not affiliated with any ed deformers...

it has no money, no staff, no officeholders...

someone said...

Huh - weird - Mr. Eide's entity doesn't appear in either the Sect. Of State's database or the Dept. Of Revenue - wonder how its officially registered - or more importantly to whom? I'm sure there's an easy answer I'm missing....

Melissa Westbrook said...

Seattle Foundation also gets money from Gates. Washington STEM gets money from Gates.

suep. said...

Charlie, why have you got Parents Across America in this list? We do not share an agenda with any of the Gates/Broad/Walton-funded ed reform groups you have listed here and have no paid staff or office-holders.

We support: fully funding and investing in public schools, rather than closing them or handing them over to private interests; smaller class sizes; parent involvement; genuine, research-based reforms; experienced and fully trained teachers; diverse, inclusive schools.

We oppose: the privatization of public education; high-stakes and over-emphasis on testing; top-down management of our schools and districts; the punitive and damaging elements of "No Child Left Behind" and "Race to the Top;" the de-professionalization of teaching.

I would say our views tend to align with those of Diane Ravitch and Yong Zhao, among others. We essentially believe that parents should have a greater say in what goes on in their children's classroom, which means we want a voice in local and national education policy and decision-making.

Right now, education policy in America, nationally and locally, is being driven by the agenda and money of a few unelected private interests with foundations, political connections and little to zero expertise in education. This has led to numerous damaging "reforms" and little public input or oversight. This is an alarming and undemocratic trend.

PAA recently co-sponsored the SOS March and Rally in Washington D.C. (http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org/), and our kickoff event in NYC in February featured Diane Ravitch as our keynote speaker, along with a panel of parent activists from across the nation, including Dora Taylor and myself. (http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/notes-from-new-york-our-forum-with-diane-ravitch-other-tales/)

For more info, please visit the national and local sites: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/

http://parentsacrossamerica.org/what-we-believe/

http://www.parentsacrossamerica-seattle.org/?p=55

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Parents-Across-America-Seattle/138737226194759

Sue Peters
Founding member, Parents Across America (PAA)

Charlie Mas said...

The Gates Foundation funding comment applies only so far as the first set, the Education Advocacy groups. It does not extend to the think tanks or the parent advocacy groups.

I'm trying to list them all, regardless of their perspective. I realize, of course, that the overwhelming majority of them are of a mind, but it's not intended as a list of the groups which are of that mind.

Anonymous said...

I realize this isn't on point....but thought to get this out there as I just received it......I don't have the powerpoint that was attached to the email.

A friend of Seattle.

From: Enfield, Susan A
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:32 AM
To: JSCEE
Subject: A new school year

Hello everyone,

I hope that you have all had a chance to relax and rejuvenate this summer. I managed to get away and spend some time in California with my family—and in particular my two-year-old niece who is my most favorite person on the planet! I was also able to have some quality time with my husband and very neglected cat.

I am very excited about the start of school. We have an all central office staff meeting on September 8 at 2:00 pm in the auditorium where we will have an opportunity to talk about our focus for the year. In preparation for that, I wanted each of you to have a copy of the presentation that I shared at our Summer Leadership Institute two weeks ago. In it, I outline our mission, vision and priority work for the year. As you will see, we will continue to focus on how we, as central office staff, can serve and support our schools and families.

We have much to celebrate and be excited about. I hope that many of you can join us next Tuesday, August 30 for our Celebration of Learning at the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center from 4-6. This will be a chance for us to kick off the year with our families and community members.

As always, I appreciate all that you do and I look forward to working alongside you this year.

Susan

Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll have to ask for that Powerpoint as it seems Dr. Enfield is now transitioning from crisis mode to steady state model (with some of her own vision, etc.)

Anonymous said...

"special interest" theme song:

http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/08/teachers-rap-song-blasts-education-secretary-for-pimping-charter-schools/

-JC.

Sahila said...

Surely there is no longer any doubt about what is really going on in Seattle now?

No doubt that we as parents/teachers/community - those with the most at stake here - are being ridden roughshod over, completely discounted?


I just want to know what it will take to get SPS parents, teachers, community out in the streets, saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH...

full on testing boycotts

full on rolling stoppages at schools - students and teachers

mass publication of what is going on

picketing John Stanford Center

picketing all the astro-turf groups - their offices and events..

handing out flyers

pooling money and taking out ads in the media - print, radio, tv...

CHASE ED DEFORM OUT OF TOWN/THE STATE....

ACTION - LOUD AND LONG - make it onto the national scene....

IT WILL NOT BE IGNORED....

Anonymous said...

I suggest kids come to first day of school dressed as widgets.

Or other appropriate attire.

Come on Center of the Universe Fremonters and other artists - way past time to get on board.

-JC.

Anonymous said...

How about "Snarkies against Educational Equality"?

grumpy

joanna said...

oops. I either haven't been paying attention or the Seattle Council PTSA does not have paid staff at this point and never has had an Executive Director. The State PTA does, but not a highly paid one. Working to ensure that your school has a well-informed active PTSA is important.