Grassroots Education Network- November 2019 Newsletter
The NPE Grassroots Education Network is a network of over 145 grassroots organizations nationwide who have joined together to preserve, promote, improve, and strengthen our public schools. If you know of a group that would like to join this powerful network, please go here to sign on.
If you have any questions about the NPE Grassroots Education Network please contact Marla Kilfoyle, NPE Grassroots Education Network Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes from Marla
CALL TO ACTION FOR ALL ORGANIZATIONS!
Dear NPE Grassroots Education Network – this is a specific call to action that needs to be completed BEFORE December 8th. The Network for Public Education is sending a letter to the FTC as part of a formal public comment process in which the Commission has asked for input about the potential change in the regulations for COPPA, the Children’s Online Protection Act, originally passed by Congress in 1998.
We are urging the FTC NOT to weaken this important privacy law through regulation, as the law wisely provides for parent consent before the online collection of personal data directly from children younger than 13. Instead, the FTC appears intent on allowing schools and/or teachers to consent on the part of parents when collecting student personal data directly from children.
The deadline for signing onto our letter is Dec. 8, as all comments are due to be submitted to the FTC no later than Dec. 9. You are also encouraged to add your own comments online. You can do so at this link.
For more background on this issue, you can check out the blog post and comments submitted by the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy.
Thanks for your support.
Registration is open for the NPE Action 6th National Conference to be held in Philadelphia, March 28-29. Seats are limited this year to 500, so DO NOT delay your registration. Go here to register and book your hotel! Please do not delay, reserve your seat today!
Public Schools Week will be held from February 24th-28th. Start planning NOW by doing the following:
- Begin to ask your Governor, state and federal lawmakers, Mayor, City Council, or Board of Education to adopt a resolution in support of Public Education. Begin to do this now. You can adopt, edit, or modify this resolution from The School Superintendents Association. If you get a resolution please send it to Marla Kilfoyle at email@example.com and we will forward it along.
- National organizations please cut a three-minute video that encourages your members to participate in Public Schools Week. Here are the instructions for the video. To see sample videos please go here.
- Please share and ask your members to take the pledge in support of Public Schools week. You can do that here.
- Please consider hosting an event. Starting planning NOW and register your event here
- To learn more about Public Schools Week, messaging for 2020 and the #PublicSchoolProud campaign please go here and the toolkit has all kinds of amazing things you can do to support the week on social media.
Defending the Early Years publishes an informative newsletter centered on defending childhood and supporting play. Check it out here. Also, DEY had an organizing meeting on November 23rd at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We will report on this in our next newsletter! In the Public Interest published another powerful essay this month titled D.C. School Accountability Report: Charter enrollment dropping. The Journey for Justice Alliance podcast On The Ground, hosted by Jitu Brown, airs every Monday at 6 PM CST. J4J is proposing 25,000 Community Schools by 2025. Read their platform here. Fairtest publishes a newsletter each week about the misuses and flaws of standardized testing. Rethinking Schools was represented by editors, Linda Christensen and Bill Bigelow, RS writer Rachel Cloues, and Zinn Education Project founder Bill Holtzman at the Teachers for Social Justice Conference in San Francisco last month. The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy responded to the College Board, asking them to correct the errors in their fact sheet and petition to the Attorney General of NYS. Leonie Haimson, co-chair of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy was quoted in an article about College Board selling data in the Wall Street Journal. Leonie said “disseminating the data may harm a student’s chance of getting into college. If a student performs poorly on the SAT and a school buys the test-taker’s data, the school will know her score range even if it is a test-optional school.” Joann Mickens, Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools National, discusses her personal concerns with charter schools in MPB’s Mississippi Edition. Parents Across America has supported the Youth Mandate for Presidential Candidate: Permanently Dismantle the School-to-Prison-and-Deportation-Pipeline. The Schott Foundation webinar, The Fight for Public Education in Puerto Rico: 3 Lessons for the Field & Philanthropy, is now archived. They also celebrated their #EdJustice Superstars on Twitter. Congratulations to Carol Burris (NPE Executive Director) and Denisha Jones (NPE Board Member) for being recognized for their #EdJustice work!
The Badass Teachers Association (BATs) Quality of Work Life Team has put out informative webinars about workplace bullying and teacher stress. Their next webinar will be December 3rd and has an amazing lineup of speakers. To register go here. The Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education (USA) posted information from Mexico and Canada regarding the movements, and struggles, in education. The Ontario (Canada) Secondary School Teachers Federation published the impact of the Ford government’s education cuts on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Wear Red for Ed has an active open Facebook page which tracks the Red for Ed movement nationwide. Find out what Save our Schools March is up to by following their open Facebook page. First Focus Campaign for Children has an active twitter feed that will keep you up-to-date on all that is happening nationally in the fight to end childhood poverty. Kinderchat hosts their popular twitter chat every Monday night at 9 PM EST. The chats are informative and engaging. Check them out on twitter at #Kinderchat. Instituto Nueva Escuela joined the network this month. We are excited to begin working with them. To learn more about their work in fighting privatization in Puerto Rico go here. The Network for Public Education updates their #AnotherDayAnotherCharterScandal monthly. Please give it a share to help us expose fraud and mismanagement in the charter industry.
NPE Grassroots Education Network – State Organizations Support Public Education
Please use this clearinghouse of information to inform people in the various states about the NPE Grassroots Education Network organizations. Please encourage people to join them and support their work! Call on family, friends, and colleagues to join the fight to save public education. This section is also a place to get great ideas on organizing and actions.
SOS (Support our Students) exposed the mismanagement surrounding LEAD Academy in Montgomery.
Voices for Education highlighted the multi-million dollar business deals between charter schools and their founders. Arizonans for Charter School Accountability series Getting Rich Owning Charters is a must read and share. Save our Schools Arizona announced SOSAZ night at the Phoenix Suns game. The date is December 16th. For more information go here. Save our Schools Arizona also appeared on a local talk show and discussed education funding. Arizona Educators United are asking their members to sign up to become an Arizona Educators United liaison. For more information on that go here.
California Educators United provide updates on teacher strike action in the state. Check out the Berkeley strike here and the Fillmore strike here. Public Core is now on twitter. Please give them a follow to keep up with what is happening in West Contra Costa County. The Association of RAZA Educators had a Maya Maiz Encuentro early this month. We will report on this in our next newsletter.
The Pueblo Education Coalition had some very important school board races. To see a rundown of the school board races in the Pueblo area go here.
Children Are More Than Test Scores founder Jesse Turner wrote an essay called Teachers Don’t Believe the Hype. The essay tells teachers to not lead with rigor and grit but to lead with love and compassion. Re:public Ed informs Connecticut residents about state, local and federal education policies that impact teaching and learning. New London Parent Advocates updates their open Facebook page weekly with all that is happening in the New London Public Schools.
Fund Education NOW published a powerful essay this month called Significant Drop in NAEP Scores: A scathing indictment on accountability obsessed status quo. To follow all that is going on in Broward County give Broward BATs a follow on their open Facebook page. Florida BATs open Facebook page has a wide array of events, activities, and information about what is happening with education in the state. Opt Out Florida Network shared information about the PSAT (Practice SAT) and the NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). They are informing their members that it’s time for a little reality check about National Merit Scholarships. Pastors for Florida Children held a luncheon in late November. We will be reporting on that in our next newsletter. The Florida Council of Churches attended Dreaming God’s Dream Together: Faith Leaders Advancing Shared Hope. They celebrated here. If you are a member of the Pinella community, the Pinellas Parents Advocating for School Improvements organize in a closed Facebook group. Join the closed group to connect and organize. Protect Our Public Schools, Manasota joined the network this month. To learn more about their work go here.
Public Education Matters Georgia has a comprehensive website that reports on what is happening in the fight to save public education in Georgia. Check it out here. Moms and Dads Now Enduring Surrealistic Stupidity (MADNESS) Georgia encouraged their membership to attend a Town Hall in Athens so that they could hear what school board members were saying about education.
Parents for Public Schools Hawaii celebrated CC Chung, 2019 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year.
Illinois Raise Your Hand published two action alerts this month. If you live in Illinois please continue to check their page for calls to action. Illinois Families for Public Schools joined the network this month! It is such an honor to be able to work with them. To learn more about their organization go here. They were also busy this month meeting with the Illinois State Board of Education to talk about the College Board and student privacy.
Indiana Coalition for Public Schools – Monroe County reported on the November 19th teacher walk-out. Indiana Coalition for Public Education provided some ideas about how to support teachers on November 19th. The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education shared the education referendums that failed this voting season. They also sent representatives to the RedforEd Day events in Indianapolis, as well as a smaller event in Fort Wayne. The events, planned by the Indiana State Teachers Association, as part of American Education Week, come exactly eight months since NEIFPE (and NPE) lost Phyllis Bush. She was definitely represented! To read Donna Roof’s tribute to Phyllis go here . Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education listed school cancellations on their page and detailed information about the November 19th teacher walk-out. All of the Indiana organizations were present at the November 19th rally for public education. To view powerful pictures from that day go here.
Iowans for Public Education operate several groups throughout the state. If you live in Iowa, or know someone who does, please tell them to connect with Iowans for Public Education in their area.
Dear JCPS and Kentucky SOS wrote a powerful op-ed in the Courier Journal about the fact that teachers aren’t the only ones outraged by former Gov. Matt Bevin’s elitist education policies. To read the article go here. Pastors for Kentucky Children shared a powerful article about how, and why, pastors can support public education. Also, congratulations to these organizations for their hard work in removing a Governor who was pro Betsy DeVos and anti public education.
The Baltimore Algebra Project is a powerful youth movement in Maryland. To learn more about their work please visit their website.
Citizens for Public Schools thanked grassroots supporters, for the difference they made this year for Massachusetts’ public schools. Read more about all who made it possible!! They also updated what was happening with the Student Opportunity Act here. The New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools reports that a major reformulation of the school funding formula just passed the Massachusetts House by a unanimous vote. Chances are good that the most vulnerable school districts will be funded to the degree that is equitable. The New Bedford Coalition to Save our Schools was one of the organizations involved in rallies and testimonies at the state level to get the bill through. They are currently formulating a plan to enter the decision making table at the local level so as to propose a “participatory budgeting model” where the community (meaning families of children in the school system and youths who bear the most cost) are at the decision making table regarding how the funds are utilized in the next few years. There’s also a plan to work with local farms to bring quality, locally sourced foods to the school system.
The Michigan Network for Equity in Education shared an excellent article that featured Kaitlin Popielarz, an educator in Michigan, and her response to DeVos’ comment on Detroit schools. Save Michigan’s Public Schools share all the latest in the fight to save Michigan’s public schools on their open Facebook page. Michigan Parents for Schools is an advocacy group working for stable and adequate funding for public schools in Michigan. Check out their Facebook page for all their latest movements and actions. In late October MI Ed Justice had their first monthly community meeting focused on the Read by 3rd Grade or Fail legislation. They shared facts about the law and how parents and teachers can fight it. They have a monthly teacher group (PLC) that meets in Dearborn, MI every second Sunday of the month. Teachers in the group come from a variety of content areas and grades; what they share with MI Ed Justice is a desire to ground the work in social justice. On November 13th they held their Community Meeting which focused on Teaching for Social Justice in the Upper Grades (5th-12th). We will share that work next month.
Parents for Public Schools – Moss Point held their 3rd Annual Banquet on November 21st. The speaker was Nancy Loome. We will report more on this in our next newsletter. Parents For Public Schools of Greenwood and Leflore County continue mobilizing parents in Greenwood and Leflore Counties in their fight for public education. Parents For Public Schools of Philadelphia advocate for children and schools in the Philadelphia Public School District. Make sure you give them a follow on Facebook. Parents For Public Schools of Starkville is a local organization working to strengthen public schools in Starkville. They promote the great work being done in the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District.
Missouri BATs have an active twitter feed. To keep up with education movements in the state, give them a follow. Columbia Parents for Public Schools promote parent engagement to improve education and build public support for public schools in Columbia.
Stand for Schools shared an important article by the Nebraska State Education Association about the secondary trauma that teachers are facing. Nebraska Loves Public Schools released The Mind Inside a few months ago. The multi-episode series explores mental health and student issues in public schools. To view all the episodes go here.
If you live in Nevada the Educate Nevada NOW essay Fair and Adequate Funding for Public Schools is a must read, and share. Check it out here.
Save our Schools NJ continue to keep the public updated on high school graduation requirements. If you know anyone who lives in New Jersey make sure you share their open Facebook page which is updated daily with new information. The Newark Students Union is a powerful youth led group. Please give them a follow on twitter to keep up with their news and events. The Delran Education Association held their representative council this month. We will share any news from that in our next newsletter. If you are a resident of Elizabeth, ask to join the Elizabeth Parents and Students Care closed Facebook group to connect. Montclair Cares About Schools continue to share with their members information on the fight to reduce state testing. See this article for more information on that topic. Give Our Children Our Schools a follow on twitter to keep up with their movements and events. South Orange-Maplewood Cares About Schools organize in their closed Facebook group. If you live in this area, or know anyone who does, please ask to join the group here.
Leonie Haimson, Founder and Executive Director of Class Size Matters, published a powerful essay on what’s really behind the city, state and national drop in NAEP scores. NYSAPE and Class Size Matters worked hard to get the NY State Education Department not to revise the student privacy regulations. The work that they did on this will stop the College Board and ACT from selling student data. As a result of their work, the NYS Regents has posted a third round of comments which are due December 3rd. If you live in NYS please send in a comment. NYSAPE will be launching a new website very soon. Check out their open Facebook page for the announcement of the new website. LI Opt Out has volumes of information on how to opt out of testing. It is the leading organization for the opt out movement in NYS. To learn more visit their public Facebook group. NYC Opt Out has volumes of information on how to opt out of testing in NYC. To learn more go here. The Alliance for Quality Education will be holding their Annual Gala, Tuesday, December 3, 2019. To reserve your tickets go here. Make sure to give Change the Stakes a follow on Facebook to keep up with the test resistance movement in NYC. NY BATs organize, and meet, in a closed Facebook group. If you are an education activist in NYS ask to join and connect. FUSE (New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees) has called for the resignation of their superintendent for publicizing the names of employees prior to due process hearings. To read more about this go here. MORE-UFT will be holding an Educational Justice Holiday Dance Party on December 6th. Jackson Heights People for Public Schools will be holding a Kindergarten Forum on December 3rd. Parents for Public Schools- Syracuse continues to share information about education events happening in Syracuse. Please go to their open Facebook page for event dates and times. Public School Watchdogs are public school parents who came together to oppose the DeVos appointment. Find out what they have been up to on their Facebook page. Croton Advocates for Public Education (CAPE) advocates for fair assessments, enrichment opportunities, and funding for their schools. The Port Washington Advocates for Public Education closed Facebook group is a place to connect and organize if you live in Port Washington, NY. North Country Alliance For Public Education works to end the reliance on high stakes testing and to stop the privatization that is taking over their schools. If you live in the North Country of New York consider joining their closed Facebook group to connect. Rochester Coalition for Public Education joined the network this month. To learn more about their work go here.
Public Schools First NC had a successful Resilience Week this month. To view the film and campaign go here. WAKE NCAE held a demonstration on November 19th for school support professionals. Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County conducted a PEP Workshop to understand bullying. The workshop covered an understanding of the definition of bullying, tips about what to do and what not to do as a parent, information about what Pitt County Schools is doing to address bullying. North Carolina Families for School Testing Reform was featured in this year’s school psychologist support week video. The video highlighted that Parents and Psychologist stand together against iStation. In this photo, they chronicle that they were escorted out of a public meeting with DPI. Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods will be holding their grassroots grants interest meeting on December 2nd. Please support the growing work of Pastors for North Carolina Children. Give them a follow on their open Facebook page.
Ohio BATs has a strong and active caucus in the Ohio Education Association. The Ohio BAT Caucus sent out a call for new members this month. If you know of any educators in Ohio have them sign on to this powerful caucus. Public Education Partners (PEP) will be hosting a forum called The Testing Charade on December 3rd. For more information on this event go here. It Takes A Village To Tackle HB70 continues to report on the exit of Lorain City Schools CEO David Hardy. Northwest Ohio Friends of Public Education celebrated the passage of some levies and the re-election of school board members who are supporters of public education. Make sure to check in with Parents For Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati who post upcoming events on their open Facebook page.
If you live in Oklahoma give Pastors for Oklahoma Kids a follow on twitter. They are very active and have the latest on the fight for public education in Oklahoma. Joy Hofmeister of the Oklahoma Parent Legislative Action Committee published the results of their parent survey. To see the survey fast facts, and to view all the details, head to the bottom of this link. Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education & Oklahomans for Public Education work hard to update all that is happening in education on their social media. Give them a follow on Facebook.
The Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) published a powerful essay from Eugene parent Jo Schroeder. The essay discusses her experience with excessive and harmful testing in kindergarten — in this case 25 standardized assessments! She was brave enough to say “No more!” and she calls on other parents to join her in protecting Oregon children from this madness. Oregon Save Our Schools and Oregon BATs informed members that the Oregon Department of Education wants to make passing the Smarter Balanced Assessment the standard for demonstrating “third grade reading proficiency” for the purpose of “accountability” for funding related to the Student Success Act. They reported that there are ZERO alternatives proposed and many problems with this. They are asking Oregon community members to please send in testimony, or to attend a public hearing. For more information go here
Lawrence Feinberg a member of the The Keystone State Education Coalition wrote a powerful opinion piece in the Pennsylvania Capital Star titled Turzai’s vouchers bill is on deck in the Pa. House next week. Let’s send it to the back of the class. Pennsylvania School Board Association held a board reorganization webcast this month. The Pittsburgh Task Force on the Right to Education has all the latest events on education rights in the Pittsburgh area posted on their open Facebook page. This month Education Voters PA published In Pennsylvania, property taxes pay for cyber charter school “trade secrets” on their website. Please give it a read and share.
The Providence Student Union introduced their Mount Pleasant High School chapter this month! Parents Across Rhode Island share education events happening in the state of Rhode Island on their open Facebook page.
The Quality Education Project informs members about what is happening in education in a public Facebook group. If you know of anyone in South Carolina send them to the Quality Education Project public Facebook group to connect and learn.
If you know anyone living in Tennessee make sure that they subscribe to The Momma Bears blog. Pastors for Tennessee Children brought together Williamson County school leaders and faith leaders this month to start ongoing conversations and partnerships. They will have more to come in the next several months! Tennessee Strong shared a powerful article on the impact of child poverty on education.
Pastors for Texas Children were privileged to be part of a prayer team at Fort Worth ISD middle schools. The team was made up of 20 teachers and staff praying for their kids and each other. Rev. Johnson opened up the celebration at the Friends of Texas Public Schools this month. CFSID Community Leadership Committee listed all of the differences between CFSID and charter school management organizations. To read this very interesting piece go here. The Coalition for Public Schools Texas represents over 3 million Texans statewide. If you know anyone who lives in Texas, please encourage them to connect with a coalition partner in their area. Texas Kids Can’t Wait is active on twitter with information about Texas schools. Give them a follow. RootEd held another successful RootEd workday this month! If you know of anyone in the Houston community please have them connect with Parents For Public Schools of Houston. They post important activities for the Houston community on their open Facebook page. Community Voices For Public Education is posting all the latest in the Houston Independent School District takeover. Head over to their open Facebook page to see all the conversations about how this will impact the community. Our Schools San Antonio continues to educate the public on the portfolio model that the district is planning to adopt. Texas AFT announced the federal lawsuit initiated by the Houston Federation of Teachers over the proposed state takeover of the Houston Independent School District .
Virginia Educators United informed their members that their House Education Committee was due to vote on a voucher bill this month. We will report on the outcome of that in our next newsletter. Virginia BATs organizes in a closed Facebook group of 1,600 members. If you, or anyone you know, lives in Virginia and wants to join the fight for public education, please have them request to join. If you live in the Shenandoah area, please contact the Support Our Schools-Shenandoah County organization to help them fight for public education in that region. You can connect here.
Wisconsin Education Network will be holding their Winter Social on December 6th. Schools and Communities United continue to inform the public regarding two big issues with the voucher program. One being the shift of public funds to private, unaccountable religious schooling. The other being the ability for religious schools to ask for and receive full funding for students with special needs. Parents for Public Schools Milwaukee highlight Milwaukee alumni who are making a difference in the community. Check out a few examples here and here.
NPE Grassroots Education Network – Resources and Graphics
Here is a link to our resources page. It will help you navigate resources covering a variety of topics. This is a live document and will be updated so check back for new resources.
Here is a link to our graphics page. It will provide powerful visuals for you to share on social media. This is a live document and will be updated so check back for new graphics.