|What's in a Name? |
|Enter the Contest!||
Welcome to the second edition of the NPE News! Please share this newsletter with friends, so we can build our network of those working to support our schools. If you would like to make a donation, or become a member, you can do so here
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Note from Diane
Our Positive Agenda
The Network for Public Education has received a very positive response, and we are building alliances with grassroots groups across the nation. If you know of any who have not signed up, please tell them how to find us.
You know what we oppose: High-stakes testing; privatization of public
education; mass school closures to save money or to facilitate
privatization; demonization of teachers; lowering of standards for the
education profession; for-profit management of schools.
Here is what we support:
We support schools that offer a full and rich curriculum for all
children, including the arts, physical education, history, civics,
foreign languages, literature, mathematics, and the sciences.
We support schools that are subject to democratic control by members
of their community.
We support schools that have the resources that their students need,
such as guidance counselors, social workers, librarians, and
We support the equitable funding of schools, with extra resources for
those students with the greatest needs.
We support schools that have reasonable class sizes, so that teachers
have the time to help the children in their care.
We support early childhood education, because we know that the
achievement gap begins before the first day of school.
We support high standards of professionalism for teachers, principals,
We support the principle that every classroom should be led by a
teacher who is well educated, well prepared for the challenges of
teaching, and certified.
We support wraparound services for children, such as health clinics
and after-school programs.
We support assessments that are used to support children and teachers,
not to punish or stigmatize them or to hand out monetary rewards.
We support assessments that measure what was taught, through projects
and activities in which students can demonstrate what they have
We support the evaluation of teachers by professionals, not by
unreliable test scores.
We support helping schools that are struggling, not closing them.
We support parent involvement in decisions about their children.
We support the idea that students' confidential information must
remain confidential and not be handed over to entrepreneurs and
We support teacher professionalism in decisions about curriculum,
teaching methods, and selection of teaching materials.
We support public education because it is a pillar of our democratic society.
NPE Contests: What's in a Name?
We need your help, and so we are sponsoring two contests. The first is to come up with a name for those of us who are allied in support of public education, and against high stakes tests and other phony reforms. We are NOT "anti-reform," as we are often labeled. So what ARE we? Submit your suggestions here.
We are going to have T-shirts made with our colorful NPE logo. What slogan should we put on the T-shirt? Submit your idea for our slogan here.
Winners will receive a complimentary T-shirt!
New Grassroots Toolkits
Advice on becoming a Data Detective and Conducting Interviews
When the Louisiana Department of Education released data showing a significant spike in high school performance rates, Mercedes Schneider, a public school teacher in St. Tammany Parish with a PhD in applied statistics, had an inkling that something was fishy. Schneider noticed that the jumps were so large as to be statistically improbable.
While it helps to have a background in statistics, Schneider insists that anyone can be a data detective-it's all a matter of knowing where to look. "Corporate reform is not about what works. If it were, there would be no data distortion, nor data hiding, nor data removal," says Schneider. In this post, Mercedes Schneider provides six steps that will help you to locate data.
HOW TO INVESTIGATE THE ACTIONS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS
In this post, Michael Corwin, a professional investigator who resides in New Mexico, provides five steps for investigating the actions of public officials. While many of the decisions of public officials are made behind closed doors, Corwin explains that with the right preparation, it is possible to find quite a bit of useful information about the actions and motivations of public officials.
Reports from New Mexico, Indiana and Ohio
This week, activists from around the country share news of their work. We hear about efforts to push back against vouchers in Indiana, mixed success in New Mexico, and news of a teacher strike in Strongsville, Ohio. These reports are written by activists from all over. If you have news to share, send in a report of your own!
NPE Webinar Series Planned
Grassroots Organizing to be the Focus
Many of those who have joined our network want to get involved in grassroots work to change the direction of education in our communities. We are now planning a series of web forums to share concrete ways to do just that. The first will focus on how to organize grassroots groups. We will announce the dates soon, so stay tuned!
Please forward this newsletter far and wide!
The Network For Public Education