I COULD NOT GET ANYONE TO DESCRIBE THIS BILL TO ME IN A WAY I KNEW IT WAS MEANT.......PARENT TRIGGER!!!
We heard on the news that the sequester will hit education funding and especially Title 1 funding which is the underserved and special needs students. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see each step being taken to restrict ever more these education programs for the lower-class. It is deliberate and it is a Third Way corporate democratic goal......ending all New Deal and War on Poverty Programs. If the democratic party were not taken by a Third Way corporate majority as is now, none of this would be happening. Democrats always protect these programs. People do not understand that Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton are working against the middle/lower class and not for them as corporate politicians. So are all of your Maryland Democratic incumbents as they are Third Way and corporate.....that is why policy in Maryland always works against the people.
JUST TAKE BACK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BY RUNNING LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATES NEXT ELECTIONS!!!
This is the direction that special needs and underserved school policy is going with Alonzo and O'Malley working hard to making Baltimore the model for this privatization. If you look at Montgomery or Howard Counties you don't see any of this charter/Teach for America policy.....they are fighting it!!
I also want to remind special needs and underserved parents of the building of all services for yourselves and children at the city's border with the county. As I said with the special needs summer schools.....all located along the city's border you will see all Medicaid health systems being built along the city's borders and the new low-income communities as well
IT IS NEVER GOOD NEWS TO SEE A CONSOLIDATION OF DEVELOP BY CLASS/INCOME AS IS HAPPENING IN BALTIMORE'S DEVELOPMENT. THEY ARE ACTIVELY MOVING PEOPLE INTO MARGINALIZED LEVELS OF SERVICE AND ACCESS.
HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES LOOKED LIKE FOR THE UNDERSERVED AND SPECIAL NEEDS BEFORE BROWN VS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION? THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO MOVE OUR SOCIETY BACK TO THOSE DAYS!
I asked at this meeting regarding special needs education what the Maryland General Assembly bill 691 contained. While bills are being written in Maryland no one knows what these bills contain unless you are a member of these umbrella non-profits charged with rubber-stamping all policy coming from these corporate pols. As usual, I received just the snippet of the rule that makes it sound as if it is good public interest legislation. Only later will the hidden bad policy be made public after it is too late to challenge. SB 691 has this one provision that places the burden of proof that a school is failing on the school system not the parents. So, in the case of these parents frustrated by these inadequate conditions for their special needs children......they can complain the school is not functioning in their interest and demand changes......THE PARENT TRIGGER. No one knows what this policy is meant to do.....it just sounds good right? It is education policy pushed by Michele Rhee and the privatizing education group that pushes charters, Teach for America, and School Choice as a development tool. Rather than empower the parents it takes the protections of the state and federal public education policies and hands the schools to these very charter/Teach for America people all with the idea they will be better than the public schools these parent's have now.... AND THEY NEVER ARE. REMEMBER, THE GOAL OF PRIVATIZING IS TO CREATE THE CHEAPEST, MOST EFFICIENT SCHOOL SYSTEM THAT WORKS SIMPLY TOWARDS TRACKED VOCATIONAL TRAINING........THE ANTI-PUBLIC SCHOOL!!
So , the underserved and special needs families are being made desperate with bad education policy and think they need this TRIGGER to get better for the child. The TRIGGER is worse. THESE ARE THE 'CHOICES' MARYLAND IS GIVING TO ITS WORKING/UNDERSERVED RESIDENTS. WE WANT THOSE MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES WHO ARE SAYING 'WHO CARES'......IT IS COMING TO YOU AS THIS IS A MODEL FOR ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS, NOT JUST FOR THE LOWER CLASS!!
WE CAN TURN THIS AROUND ...... YOU SIMPLY MUST STOP VOTING FOR YOUR SAME INCUMBENTS....THEY ARE NOT CUTE AND CUDDLY.....THEY ARE KILLING OUR FUTURES!!!
RUN AND VOTE LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATES NEXT ELECTIONS!!!
Below you will see an article by the very right conservative Weekly Standard. That should give you a clue that this policy has long been a conservative Republican policy and now it is being pushed by Third Way corporate democrats as are in Maryland. These Third Way have the same policy beliefs as Republicans on all issues involving business and profits. They see schools as businesses not public education. ALL OF BALTIMORE'S DEMOCRATIC POLS SUPPORT THESE POLICIES!!!
AS MUCH AS PEOPLE WANT TO THINK OBAMA IS WORKING FOR THEM.....HE IS NOT.....HE IS WORKING FOR CORPORATE INTERESTS. RAHM EMMANUEL OF CHICAGO IS HIS PARTNER IN THIS EDUCATION REFORM AS IS O'MALLEY AND RAWLINGS-BLAKE IN MARYLAND.
People in Baltimore know Michelle Rhee who created this policy and pushes it.....she is the School Superintendent in Washington DC that was forced from office for policy no one supported!!
Parent Trigger Update
3:00 PM, Apr 11, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN The Weekly Standard
Proposals to enact so-called "parent trigger" laws, where parents can choose to convert their failing school into a charter school, are gaining traction, and the teachers' unions and some liberal groups are unsurprisingly up in arms. In Ohio for instance, Republican governor John Kasich has included a law similar to California's trigger law in his budget proposal, and the state teachers' union is not pleased:
Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the trigger provision is based on California's parent-empowerment law, which was enacted early last year. A dozen other states have discussed similar measures.
Ohio's largest teachers union questions the California example.
"Given the confusion and disputes that have arisen with California's experience with a parent-takeover law, including parents who feel they were misled in signing petitions, Ohio should proceed with caution," Ohio Education Association spokeswoman Michele Prater said in an email....
"I don't know how you don't create chaos when you've always got this specter of parents who are dissatisfied in some way saying, 'We're going to initiate this process and reconstitute this school,'" said Scott DiMauro, a Worthington teacher who heads the Central OEA/NEA, a regional union branch. He spoke on behalf of Join the Future, a new group advocating for public schools and teachers.
A related bill aimed at increasing parent involvement is moving along in the Colorado legislature as well, passing the state senate there last week. Several other states, including Pennsylvania and Georgia, are also considering similar laws.
In Chicago, where mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel made a parent trigger a central part of his campaign, a group called Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) has come out against any such measure:
...on Tuesday, Parents United for Responsible Education spoke out against the measure, saying it would be too disruptive and could be misused by charter operators. PURE executive director Julie Woestehoff said that research shows local school councils' efforts to reform troubled public schools from within are working.
"It's really a huge opportunity for charter school operators to get a school building for themselves," Woestehoff said. "It just seems like there's a lot of opportunity for conflicts of interests and deceptive and misleading kinds of practices."
PURE began in the late 1980s in Chicago in response to an effort by then-mayor Harold Washington to reform education policy with testing standards and a business model for the public school system, which PURE argues "[justifies] union busting and school privatization." Woestehoff has been lauded by the left-wing Ford Foundation for her efforts.
The fight over charter schools and laws like the parent trigger has created an interesting dynamic, in that many combatants on either side of the issue come from the left. Rahm Emanuel is, of course, the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama. The executive director of Parent Revolution, the pro-trigger non-profit group supporting McKinley Elementary's parents in Compton, is Ben Austin, a former aide to Bill Clinton. And director Davis Guggenheim of An Inconvenient Truth fame, certainly no conservative, achieved popular and critical acclaim for his pro-school choice documentary Waiting for "Superman," released last year.
On the other side are liberal allies to the teachers' unions like Woestehoff and the unions themselves. The fact that this debate is happening among Democrats could be considered a victory for conservative and pro-market school choice advocates who have seemingly moved the center on this particular education issue to the right.
Below is a Chicago organization that works for the people not a private non-profit as we have in Baltimore that co-opts the people's issues and work for the 1%. Check them out!!
We all see the school closing as a political and development tool having nothing to do with what is best for the families and children. Poor performing is as school funding allows. A school's lack of success is usually a result of failed public policy. What this article shows is all of the turmoil created by this education reform is as much about frustrating and getting rid of teachers and unions as it is development.
As I said yesterday advocates for children recognize the policy of using Teach for America as a filter towards just that.....privatizing these public schools led by temporary Teach for America staff that will leave after a few years. UPROOTING PRINCIPALS AND UNION TEACHERS AND CREATING A SCHOOL AS AN INDEPENDENT BUSINESS SETS THE STAGE FOR INTRODUCING THE TIERED INSTRUCTION THAT MAKES EDUCATION CHEAP AND EFFICIENT.
PURE------BUILDING POWERFUL PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES
New report: LSCs and democracy outperform turnarounds Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
On the eve of a potentially catastrophic Board of Education vote to turnaround ten more Chicago schools, the school reform research group Designs for Change has released a report showing that school turnarounds are not worth the extra expense, and that the unheralded reforms brought about under the authority of parent-led, democratically-elected local school councils have been far more effective.
9 key conclusions of the report, titled “Chicago’s Democratically-Led Elementary Schools Far Out-Perform Chicago’s ‘Turnaround Schools’ Yet Turnaround Schools Receive Lavish Extra Resources”:
Conclusion 1. The study’s evidence does not justify the continuation of the School Turnaround Strategy in Chicago schools with a concentration of high-poverty students, including the establishment of more Turnaround Schools through February 2012 Chicago School Board Action.
Conclusion 2. Each phase of the School Turnaround effort in Chicago has
been generously supported with extra resources, including teacher pre-
service preparation, school facilities improvement, staff selection, school
leadership, and staff support.
Conclusion 3. School communities have repeatedly sought these same resources
that have been given to the Turnaround Schools, but have been denied. Chicago
must have an equitable transparent process for allocating desperately-needed resources.
Conclusion 4. Given the meager academic progress of Elementary Turnaround
Schools and their high teacher turnover rate, which undermines the basic
culture of the school, the researchers conclude that the resources devoted to
Turnaround Schools can be better spent by supporting alternative research-
Conclusion 5. This study indicated that the high-poverty schools achieving the
highest reading scores were governed by active Local School Councils who chose
their principals, and had experienced unionized teachers. effective elementary schools have dedicated strong Local School Councils, strong but inclusive principal leadership, effective teachers who are engaged in school-wide improvement, active
parents, active community members, and students deeply engaged in learning
and school improvement.
Conclusion 6. Related research indicates that high-poverty schools with
sustained test score improvements tend to carry out a specific set of practices
and methods of organization. These effective elementary schools have dedicated strong Local School Councils, strong but inclusive principal leadership,
effective teachers who are engaged in school-wide improvement, active
parents, active community members, and students deeply engaged in learning
and school improvement.
Conclusion 7. A basic distinction between high-scoring and low-scoring schools
is that high-scoring schools carry out engaging instructional activities
that help students master demanding standards, while low-scoring schools focus on various form of test preparation.
Conclusion 8. In their practice of School-Based Democracy, the school
community functions as a unified team and understands and acts on the close
relationship between the issues facing the school and the community.
Conclusion 9. While even the highest-scoring schools, based on existing
measures, need to improve, the practices and methods of collaboration that
characterize the high-poverty schools that show sustained improvement
are clear. The resources now used for Turnaround Schools need to be shifted
to helping these effective schools become resources for other schools and
to support their own mutual continued improvement.
You can see how a law that empowers parents of special needs by placing the burden of proof on the school not the parent for poor achievement just sets the stage for parent trigger. These schools will not spend a lot of money litigating these things so it will weaken the school's ability to fight an attack by the Michelle Rhee crowd. Privatized schools do not bode well for any family but especially special needs and underserved!!!
Proposed law would force school boards to heed parents’ petitions for school reform February 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm
By Ilana Kowarski
Students wait to board school buses. (By Len Lazarick)
National education reform advocates support a Maryland bill that would mandate reform for failing schools whenever a majority of parents petition for intervention, but the state superintendent and the state teachers union oppose the idea.
The bill is one of many “parent trigger” laws that have been proposed in states throughout the nation as they struggle to fix failing schools and remedy inequities in the education system. At a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday, impassioned reformers faced arguments from professional educators who warned the bill could lead to chaos in the school system.
Joy Pullmann, the managing editor of School Reform News, a publication sponsored by the conservative Heartland Institute, told the committee that parents ought to have more influence in school reform.
Pullman argued that parents are the most likely to know what their children’s needs, and won’t be swayed by conflicting interests like money or power.
Parents know best, advocate says
“Many people like to say they care about children and can even believe this sincerely while instead harming children,” Pullman said, “…. The love motivating parents to constantly sacrifice their time and comfort their children makes them, and no one else, the right ones to direct their children’s future.”
Though Maryland schools are the highest ranked in the nation by Education Week, there are some school districts with a large number of failing schools, particularly in Baltimore City and other regions with high poverty rates.
Del. Gail Bates, the sponsor of the legislation and a Howard County Republican, said her legislation would empower parents to make their voices heard.
“I’m a former teacher, so I know the value of a year in the life of a child,” Bates said. “It’s actually crucial. We cannot allow children to wait for a year for schools to improve.”
School superintendent, boards oppose legislation
But school superintendent Lillian Lowery, the Maryland Association of Boards of Education and a statewide teachers union took issue with Bates in written testimony.
The association of boards of education argued that parents do not have the training necessary to guide struggling school districts. Its testimony stated that petitions from 51% of parents should not override the professional judgments of educators.
Amy Maloney, a lobbyist for the Maryland State Education Association, wrote that Bates’ bill would be a diversion from long-term improvement.
“By simply asking parents to sign a petition, HB 875 does not engage the parent community in a real way,” Maloney stated, “and it is more likely to cause chaos than become a constructive reform.”
Modeled after Calif. law
Bates’ bill is modeled after legislation enacted in California amidst outrage over failing schools in Los Angeles.
However, the bill only allows parents to petition for two types of reform — for the school to be closed and reopened as a charter school or under a new management organization, or for the school to be closed and students sent to higher-performing public schools nearby. Parents would not be able to simply ask for the transformation of their local school, which typically entails hiring and firing but allows for the retention of high-performing staff. Under the bill, the local board of education could overrule the parental recommendation, but only if the board proposed an alternative reform.
Despite those restrictions, Bates’s bill is supported by Parent Revolution, an organization which advocated in California for the parent trigger law. Ryan Donohue, the deputy director, wrote that Maryland schools perform well as a whole but his organization is concerned about the poverty gap between high-performing and underperforming schools.
“Thanks to the leadership of Delegate Bates and the other sponsors of this bill, Maryland can become a lighthouse state for all who believe that parents should have a seat at the decision-making table for their child’s education,” Donohue stated in his testimony.
PLEASE DO NOT SIT BY AND THINK ALL OF THIS IS INEVITABLE......THIS POLICY IS BEING PUSHED BY ONLY ABOUT 20% OF THE POPULATION.....YOU HAVE FAR MORE POWER IN NUMBERS THAN THEY DO.......
ORGANIZE AND ENERGIZE FOR THE COMING ELECTIONS!!!
Remember, it is the Mayor who is sending the power of the school board and system to the state and all of this policy. VOTING FOR A MAYOR THAT IS NOT CURRENTLY CONNECTED TO POLITICS AND SHOUTS OUT AGAINST ALL THIS POLICY IS A MUST!!!
Parents Across America
Parents Across AmericaParents Across America (PAA) is an independent non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization that connects parents and activists from across the U.S. to share ...parentsacrossamerica.org -
WHAT WORKS: Proven Reforms: We support the expansion of sensible, research-based reforms, such as pre-K programs, full-day Kindergarten, small classes, parent involvement, strong, experienced teachers, a well-rounded curriculum and evaluation systems that go beyond test scores.
Sufficient and Equitable Funding: Resources do matter, especially when invested in programs that have been proven to work.
Diversity: We support creating diverse, inclusive schools and classrooms whenever possible.
Meaningful Parent Involvement: Parents must have a significant voice in policies at the school, district, state and national levels. We are not just “consumers” or “customers” but knowledgeable, necessary partners in any effective reform effort.
What Doesn’t Work: Privatization: A strong public education system is fundamental to our democracy. We oppose efforts to privatize public education through the expansion of charters, vouchers or other privately-run programs at the expense of regular public schools.
High-Stakes Testing: Excessive reliance on standardized exams narrows the curriculum, promotes teaching to the test and leads to unfair and unreliable evaluations of students, teachers and schools.
School Closings: Closing schools wreaks havoc on families and communities, and too often fails to deliver on promises to create better opportunities for children. We believe in improving the schools we have, rather than shutting them down.
Ignoring Poverty: The nation’s educational “crisis” is made worse by the widening gap between rich and poor. Along with investing in our schools, we should also be investing in families.
If you agree, please join us, as we fight for children and better schools!
Click here to download a PDF of this statement.
Become a PAA chapter or affiliate!
Parents Across America Chapter/Affiliate Application Form If you share PAA’s overall goals of progressive, positive education reform and a strong parent voice in education decision making, please consider becoming a part of our leadership network. The more of us there are, the stronger our voices will be at every level!
Benefits of chapter or affiliate status include:
- Support and advice on building your organization.
- Help promoting your local events and reaching out to recruit potential members in your area.
- Space on our blog to share your viewpoint and experience.
- Alerts about key legislative and other campaigns.
- Policy and research resources.
- Collaborative leadership with a fast-growing network of parent activists.
- An opportunity to have a positive impact on public education in your community and across the U.S.
A PAA chapter is a new organization you start to promote the mission and goals of PAA in your area. Chapters are usually named “PAA-”city” or PAA “state” (i.e. PAA-NewOrleans, PAA-Seattle).
PAA chapters cannot endorse candidates for elective office. You can do so as an individual, as long as you emphasize that you are not speaking on behalf of PAA or your PAA chapter.
A PAA affiliate is an existing local or statewide education advocacy group that shares our overall goals and wants to join in to promote the mission and goals of PAA in your area (i.e. Chicago’s affiliates PURE and 19th Ward Parents).
Please review our statement, “What We Believe.” If you agree, and want to join in our efforts, please fill in and submit the form below. Thank you!
MICHELLE RHEE AND STUDENT'S FIRST IS ALL ABOUT SCHOOL PRIVATIZATION AND TIERED FUNDING, TEACH FOR AMERICA, AND SEGREGATING SCHOOLS WITH SCHOOL CHOICE. GETTING RID OF TEACHER'S UNIONS A PRIORTY
Michelle Rhee has been working for the last 18 years to give children the skills and knowledge they will need to compete in a changing world. From adding instructional time after school and visiting students' homes as a third grade teacher in Baltimore, to hosting hundreds of community meetings and creating a Youth Cabinet to bring students' voices into reforming the DC Public Schools, she has always been guided by one core principle: put students first.
Each chapter of Michelle's story has convinced her: students of every background and ZIP code can achieve at high levels, and for our schools to become what children deserve, every educator is called to believe this. Even in the toughest of circumstances, all teachers are called to turn the incredible potential that fills their classrooms daily, into the achievements worthy of our children and country.
If you are a member of the media and would like to set up an interview or TV appearance with Michelle, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RADICAL: Fighting to Put Students First In her new book, Radical: Fighting to Put Students First, Michelle Rhee draws on her own life story and delivers her plan for better American schools. Michelle's goal is to ensure that laws, leaders, and policies are making students - not adults - our top priority, and she outlines concrete steps that will put us on a dramatically different course. Informing her critique are her extraordinary experiences in education: her years of teaching in inner-city Baltimore; her turbulent tenure as chancellor of the Washington, D.C., public schools; and her current role as an education activist. Rhee draws on dozens of compelling examples--from schools she's worked in and studied; from students who've left behind unspeakable home lives and thrived in the classroom; from teachers whose groundbreaking methods have produced unprecedented leaps in student achievement. The book chronicles Rhee's awakening to the potential of every child blessed with a great teacher, her rage at realizing that adults with special interests are blocking badly needed change, and her recognition that it will take a grassroots movement to break through the barriers to outstanding public schools.
Teaching with Teach for America As a Teach for America (TFA) corps member in a Harlem Park Community School in Baltimore City, through her own trial and error in the classroom, she gained a tremendous respect for the hard work that teachers do every day. She also learned the lesson that would drive her mission for years to come: teachers are the most powerful driving force behind student achievement in our schools.
Bringing Excellent Teachers to Classrooms across America - TNTP In 1997 Ms. Rhee founded The New Teacher Project (TNTP) to bring more excellent teachers to classrooms across the country. Under her leadership TNTP became a leading organization in understanding and developing innovative solutions to the challenges of new teacher hiring. As Chief Executive Officer and President, Ms. Rhee partnered with school districts, state education agencies, non-profit organizations and unions to transform the way schools and other organizations recruit, select and train highly qualified teachers in difficult-to-staff schools.
Her work with TNTP implemented widespread reform in teacher hiring practices, improving teacher hiring in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Miami, New York, Oakland and Philadelphia. TNTP placed 23,000 new, high-quality teachers in these schools across the country.
Driving Unprecedented Growth in the D.C. Public Schools On June 12, 2007, Mayor Adrian Fenty appointed Chancellor Rhee to lead the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), a school district serving more than 47,000 students in 123 schools. Under her leadership, the worst performing school district in the country became the only major city system to see double-digit growth in both their state reading and state math scores in seventh, eighth and tenth grades over three years.
The graduation rate rose, and after steep declines enrollment rose for the first time in forty years. In her last year as chancellor, every eligible DC public school attracted applicants for the annual K-12 Out-of-Boundary, preschool, and pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) lotteries. Fourteen schools had waitlists for the first time. Ultimately, a record high of 5,219 families, representing an increase of 50 percent over 2009, expressed interest in DCPS programs located in all eight wards.
Collaborating with Pioneers Michelle Rhee currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the National Council on Teacher Quality and the National Center for Alternative Certification.
Education Michelle has a bachelor's degree in government from Cornell University and a master's in public policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.