Thursday, August 8, 2013

Network for Public Education News, August 8, 2013


Volume 1, Issue: #19

August 8, 2013
Inside NPE News
Our New Endorsed Candidate, Ronda Scholting
NYC Test Scores Drop 30%
Sue Peters Goes On to General Election
ALEC Protest Takes Place in Chicago
Tell NPE Your Story
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Greetings!
Welcome to the nineteenth edition of our newsletter. This week we bring you news from around the country, including Sue Peters' outstanding victory in Seattle and today's ALECexposed protest in Chicago. We're also excited to announce our newest endorsement, Ronda Scholting for the Douglas School Board! Read it all here!  And like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and JOIN US at our website.
Our New Endorsed Candidate, Ronda Scholting
Help Support Ronda Scholting for Douglas County School Board
This week we announced our strong endorsement of Ronda Scholting.
This week we announced on our website our endorsement of Ronda Scholting, a candidate in the race for Douglas County School Board. As a parent of two public school graduates, Ronda has always been committed to supporting public education and believes that "quality education is the base of a strong community." 

Ronda has a solid record of working to protect our children. In her capacity as an investigative journalist, Ronda brought to light a scandal regarding international adoption that instigated a U.S. Senate hearing on the matter. She also works with the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, an organization dedicated to helping children and their families afford the medical care they need. 

It is for these reasons and many others that we excitedly endorse Ronda Scholting for Douglas County School Board. We invite you to read more about our endorsement on our website. You can also help support Ronda by visiting her website and following her Twitter and Facebook page.
New York City's Test Scores Dropped 30% 
NYC test scores dropped 30% in 2012, other cities may follow
NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott says to parents of the low test scores: "it doesn't mean that your child is doing any worse; it just means your child is now being measured to a higher standard." (Picture from the NYC Department of Education). 
Earlier this week, the Department of Education in NYC announced that standardized test scores decreased by a whopping 30% in 2012. According to the data collected from the tests, only 26% of students in NYC are proficient in English, while 30% are proficient in math. These test scores are used to determine a number of things, including teachers' annual evaluations and whether students are held back. 

Many see this as a sign that Mayor Bloomberg has failed his goal to be the self-proclaimed "education mayor," and democratic mayoral candidates are seizing the opportunity to emphasize how their educational policies would differ from Bloomberg's. On the other hand, Mayor Bloomberg defended his work by claiming that there is good news in these numbers--namely, that the rest of New York State is doing even more poorly on standardized tests. 

There have been efforts to calm parents and students on the grounds that these scores do not necessarily reflect a huge change in students' abilities over the past year, but rather, reflect tougher standards. New York is one of few states that is beginning to implement testing influenced by the Common Core curriculum. Kentucky, the first state to tie its testing to the Common Core curriculum, experienced a similar 30% decrease in test scores. 

Other states that plan to adopt the Common Core and implement similar testing within the next few years have been warned that their scores may drop just as drastically. This leaves much room for anxiety, particularly for teachers whose job security may rely on their students' ability to pass tougher exams. 

To find out more on this news story, we invite you to read 'Shock Doctrine' by Class Size Matters and Diane's post on 'Punishing Kids for Adult Failures.'

Sue Peters Will Go On to General Election  
NPE-endorsed Sue Peters overcomes the odds, wins 41% of vote
Sue Peters shares NPE's vision for protecting and enriching public schools.
Last week, we announced our endorsement of Sue Peters for School Board in Seattle and asked that you help us support Sue and get out the word about her campaign. This week, we are pleased to announce that all of your help paid off! Despite being targeted by negative advertising and outspent 6-1 by her opponent Suzanne Dale Estey, Sue won 41% of the vote in the primary election, and therefore will continue on to the general election in November. 

In response to the primary results, Sue told NPE:

"[I] extend my deepest thanks to NPE for the timely and meaningful endorsement of my candidacy [...] I am confident that my positive and constructive message, and the value of my nearly decade of knowledge of the Seattle Public School District, will resonate with voters throughout the city as we go forth into the general election."

Sue is an outstanding candidate who shares NPE's commitment to protecting public education and providing schools with a rich, engaging curriculum that does not shortchange the arts, humanities, music or physical education. So, let's help her win the general election! Please continue to support Sue by visiting her on her website, Twitter, and Facebook page
ALEC Protest Taking Place in Chicago Today 
ALEC Exposed is a growing movement focused on uncovering the truth about corruption and corporate greed in ALEC.
Last week we published a piece about Expose ALEC, a growing movement of people who seek to uncover the truth about corporate corruption and mismanagement that is harming the lives of everyday people, as well as posing a threat to public education. Today, August 8th, is the long-awaited protest outside the ALEC Convention at the Palmer House in Chicago. 

Yesterday, The Nation published a piece on the protesting, 'ALEC Convention Met with Protests in Chicago.' This is just one more example of how everyone can help in the effort to publicly expose the dangers that corporations and corporately-backed reformers pose to our society. 

You can support Expose ALEC by visiting their website and continuing to tweet pictures and news from the protest with the tag #ALECexposed
Tell NPE 
Your Story
 

NPE wants to hear from you! We would like to publish real stories about the effects of misguided school reforms on our Friends & Allies. Please share this and send responses to networkforpubliceducation@gmail.com.
Please forward this newsletter far and wide! 
 
In solidarity,
 
NPE sq
The Network For Public Education

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