Friday, May 11, 2012

Fighting Back For Our Schools - It Works!

On the heels of Seattle public school parents pushback of a new transportation plan (pushed without input or announcement from/to parents), we have some other winning strategies.

The Alabama Legislature, fighting back against a far-reaching charter school bill, defeated it today with just one day left in their regular session.   Alabama is one of the mighty nine states to say no to charters.

From AL.com:
Dr. Henry Mabry, executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association, consistently told lawmakers during the session that the state didn’t need a dual system of schools when it couldn’t afford to adequately fund the single system it has.

“We don’t need to dilute even further the precious little funding for our elementary and secondary students to gamble on the unproven model of charter schools.”

Well, that sounds familiar.

Interestingly, the only education group supporting the bill was their state association of school boards.  (Washington State's came out against our charter bill.)

StudentsFirst, a group formed by Rhee after she resigned in disgrace as Washington, D.C. school chancellor, amassed a team of six lobbyists to push the charter schools bill in the Alabama Legislature.

Rhee was brought to Alabama earlier this year by state GOP leaders to work on charter schools, although there’s been no public disclosure of who is paying her California-based group.

Bentley’s office did not notify the State Board of Education or the state school superintendent in advance of a meeting earlier this year between legislators, state officials, and StudentsFirst that Rhee’s group would be working in Alabama.

Someone trying to be sneaky?

Also telling is that their charter bill would only allow charters in the state's four largest cities.  Hmm, if it's good for the big cities, why not the suburbs?

Next up, from the Herald Tribune:

More than 550 Snohomish School District students did not take state exams in the past two weeks, a revolt staged by parents who question whether the tests are worth the money. The parents also hoped to get the attention of state lawmakers.

Good for them.  I wish more Seattle parents had the courage to say no.  THAT would get people's attention like nothing else.

So far, the students who didn't take the Measurement of Student Progress represent about 12 percent of the 4,501 students between third and eighth grade required to take the test in Snohomish.

Last year only 12 students missed the standardized tests.

One parent's explanation:

"We are not against testing. We want student assessment, but we want smarter, more effective and more cost-efficient testing," member Michelle Purcell said.

Students who did not take the test were assigned separate classrooms during testing, district spokeswoman Kristin Foley said.

 Never forget, there IS strength in numbers.  The Washington State PTSA is using membership numbers to help bolster their claims.  Maybe parents in real numbers who really do support certain issues should consider how to join together.  Parents Across America might be a good start.


Anonymous said...

I just realized that what the Snohomish parents were protesting was MSP. Good grief! We have that AND MAP -- and Seattle parents can't even get themselves pulled together to push back against MAP?

-- We're wimps!

Anonymous said...

"Not Buying What They're Pushing" says --

Well it's going to be a whole lot of people gathering to push back like Alabama. Over on the tiresome LEV site (thanks to this blog I've now caught on to their game) they have published a pro-charter opinion piece from ONE director at the state board of school directors and have made it look like the whole of WSSDA wants charters.

It's sneaky and untrue. And LMFAO, the ONE director points to the (FAKE and INTERTWINED) "push" for WA charters, which in reality are fueled by no more than 10 (extremely well paid) people in the whole of the state. From the piece:

Several organizations are leading and financing this current charter school movement. These include Washington Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, Democrats for Education Reform, the Center for Reinventing Public Education, Excellent Schools Now, the Partnership for Learning, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Post early and often on every forum you can find that these 10 people do not represent the community. They represent their own corporate interests. Not the interests of my kids.

Who will be the shill for the movement from our board? Word on the street is to keep an eye on Harium, he of the national board junkets and backroom Ed Reform conversations.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I find that interesting that these organizations are all being named. We know Stand and LEV and DFER and CRPE were for it. Excellent Schools Now is nonsense group. That Boeing, Microsoft and Gates Foundation are coming out makes me believe it will be an even bigger push.

Good thing they can't buy elections.

Eric B said...

The Lake City School item has also been dropped from the agenda.

Sahila said...

Melissa - of course they buy elections - where have you been lately?

Anonymous said...

A parent who attended the WPTA convention suggested to me that, led by Region 2, many delegates seemed to want to take the "T" out of the WPTA and replace it with a "C," renaming it the Washington Parent Corporation Association.


Anonymous said...

Heck, DWE -- drop the "parent" label too -- and just get right to the essence of what those who have taken over the organization intend -- the Washington Corporation Association. Parents will be merely the patsy donors and worker bees. No need to include them in its name, except that having the word parent in there does, I suppose, provide useful cover for the corporate types who don't want anyone looking behind the privatization curtain.

--A rose by any other name.