The nation might be more divided than ever politically after this presidential election, so it is heartening to see growing numbers of allies join the fight to support and strengthen public education.
One notable new and important group of allies is the
Movement for Black Lives
which includes Black Lives Matter and Journey for Justice. The coalition recently completed a
which calls for a moratorium on charter schools and a demand for all elected school boards.
Some are wondering if a Trump administration will provoke a more unified movement of public school advocates. Reaction to
that pro-voucher Betsy DeVos will be the next Secretary of Education suggests that this might happen.
But for today, let's just stop and take a moment of gratitude for those who have been toiling in the field for so long, people like Sheila Warren, Karen Lewis, Jesse Hagopian, Monty Neill, Diane Ravitch, Jitu Brown, Leonie Haimson (and name your own heroes!) and be glad that they do what they do.
Still time to speak out against national student database
PAA endorsed a
sent by the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy last week to a federal commission considering a national student database.
The Dept. of Education under Arne Duncan tried and failed to establish such a database, which is banned under current law, but the Gates Foundation has determined to get it done this year. Several Gates-funded groups were invited to testify at a hearing before the commission last month, and all of these groups spoke in favor of lifting the data collection ban.
You can still file comments on the proposal until Dec. 14. The Parent Coalition has instructions on how to file and a sample letter
They are also urging us to contact our congressional representatives with the same message. You could stop by their home offices (most are home for Thanksgiving) or call, fax or email next week.