PSAT for 7-26-11: Can’t go to the SOS march? Here’s what you can do instead.

Thousands of people will be converging on Washington, DC this week to speak out in support of our schools at the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action.

I’ll be there with a contingent of parents, members of Parents Across America. We have a full schedule.

On Thursday we will be meeting with members of Congress. We have packets prepared for them with the PAA position papers on ESEA reauthorization and on the recent House bill to expand charter schools. We will also share some fact sheets including “Why Tying Teacher Salaries to Test Scores Doesn’t Work,” a comparison chart of the relative success of reducing class size versus using Race to the Top strategies (no surprise – class size reduction works better!), and a summary of recent independent polling information showing a drop of 11% in the American people’s support for the Obama administration’s education policies since 2009 – now 33% give him a “D” or an “F”.

On Friday, I’ll be listening to Diane Ravitch and presenting a workshop on how to work for a better ESEA, with PAA’s crack legislative consultant, Gene Fisher.

On Saturday, of course, we’ll be marching to the White House with Matt Damon and several thousand other people.

IF YOU CAN’T BE THERE, HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO!

Strengthen our voices in DC by adding your own. Please call or fax your Senators and Congressmen this week – Thursday would be best!

  • Tell them that they need to listen to their constituents on ESEA, not to rich education hobbyists who have spent billions marketing a false image of our public schools and promoting ideas that are expensive and don’t improve education.
  • Tell them that you oppose HR 2218, the charter school expansion law.
  • Share your own experience with high-stakes testing, school closure, charter school encroachment, or other problems that have come about due to NCLB/ESEA.

You can use PAA’s summary points on ESEA below. You can find more information about many of these topics under the links provided.

Summary of PAA’s ESEA Position Paper, with links to further information

Parents Across America opposes:

  • Policies that use standardized test scores as the most important accountability measure for schools, teachers or students, and/or expand the use of standardized testing in our schools.
  • Competition for federal funds; a quality education is not a race but a right.
  • Parent trigger” laws, vouchers, charter takeovers or other forms of school privatization that take resources from the schools attended by most students and put them into private hands, with less oversight.
  • Limiting federally-mandated school improvement models to a narrow set of strategies, including charter schools and privatization, which are favored by corporate reformers but which have had little verified success.

A new ESEA/NCLB must include:

We need everyone to speak out this week – Thank you for adding your voice!

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.
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