Posts Tagged ‘parent empowerment’

Guess what? Parents see through the hype

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

With all of the millions being spent on charter school, anti-teacher and parent trigger propaganda these days, it’s a wonder we poor parents can keep our heads on straight!

But we seem to be doing it.

Check out this quote from the Sun-Times this morning:

Blanca Hernandez, whose son Octavio is a fourth-grader at Greeley Elementary in Lake View, said she wanted him back in school but felt the teachers needed to take a stand against what she sees as the dangerous encroachment of charter schools.

“All of this is about the future of the kids,” she said. “Education is the most important thing for our country. I feel like charter schools are going toward privatized schools. I don’t like that.”

And how about our kids?

Amundsen senior Maame Atta-Krah, 17, said she closely followed the news coverage of the strike and supported the walkout.

“I felt what the teachers needed for them was for us as well,” she said. “I feel there is too much emphasis on” standardized testing.

and this student…

Danielle Geronimo, 16, an Amundsen junior, greeted the school day with “mixed emotions.”

“It’s nice that we get to continue junior year but it’s really hard to wake up in the morning,” she said. She said the teachers on the picket line were right to be concerned about large class sizes.

“They’re saying classes are really big and they are,” she said.

I have a newsflash for Stand for Children, Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst, DFER and the rest of the  corporate reform crowd – you can’t buy this kind of support (try as you might).

Parent: “I think there was some frustration but at least in my family, we understood this had to get resolved,” Heltzer said. “We love Waters (school).”

Student: “I really missed all of my old classmates. Plus we have the best teacher in school.”

It’s pretty obvious who doesn’t get it and who does.

PSAT for 5-29-12: Calling all parents!

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

How can I resist sharing Diane Ravitch’s call to action (even when she spells my name wrong)?

Here’s what she wrote a couple of days ago:

In an earlier post, I described how a parent organization called out Scantron, the testing company, for inserting a blatantly propagandistic item into its standardized tests. The reading passage was about the alleged superiority of charters as education reform and named a fictitious “multi-millionaire” who sends his own children to a charter. Public school students in Chicago were shown this advertising for charters, with no critical views included.

The parent group is called PURE, or Parents United for Responsible Education. They are watchdogs for public education in Chicago, and they are fearless. Every city should have a group like PURE. This parent group is an affiliate of Parents Across America, and Julie Woesterhoff–its leader–was a co-founder of PAA.

One important lesson to be learned from this episode is that parents can be powerful. Parents have the freedom that teachers don’t have to call out bad test items like this one, which was blatantly untrue. If a teacher called a press conference or put out a statement blasting a test item, the teacher might be fired for revealing what was on the test. Parents are not bound to remain silent.

And parents should not remain silent.

The best parent organization in the United States today is Parents Across America. Unlike the national PTA, which has taken sizable contributions from the Gates Foundation, PAA fights for children and public education. Like PURE in Chicago, PAA is fearless. Google it, and if you like what you see, join them. (I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that the National PTA–which should be staunch defenders of public schools–had a showing of “Waiting for ‘Superman’” at its 2011 national convention in Orlando.)

Or better yet, start a chapter of PAA in your town or city.

Here’s how to do that.

Support PURE!
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.