Good analysis of the Save Our Schools March from Lois Weiner, editor of The Global Assault on Teaching, Teachers, and Their Unions. The key line in my opinion is: “If the AFT and NEA had put even one-quarter of the effort organizing for this march as they  did the get-out-the-vote for Obama, the march would have had tens of thousands of teachers.”—AS

Matt Damon, Diane Ravitch, and scapegoating teachers
Source: New Politics
By Lois Weiner
August 6, 2011

Several thousand teachers and their supporters rallied in Washington July 30, for the SOS (Save Our Schools) march, a grassroots effort organized by an Oakland CA science teacher. Read More

Great interview with Diane Ravitch and NYC teacher and columnist Brian Jones discussing education reform and resistance. Watch the video here.—AS

“Poverty Is the Problem”: Efforts to Cut Education Funding, Expand Standardized Testing Assailed
Source: Democracy Now!
August 26, 2011

JUAN GONZALEZ: As children across the nation head back to school, we turn now to a number of recent developments in education news. Here in New York, nearly 780 employees of the city’s Education Department will lose their jobs by October in the largest layoff at a single agency since Michael Bloomberg became mayor in 2002. Read More

Michelle Rhee, one of the stars of Waiting for Superman, is only eager for the spotlight when she can attack teacher unions and push merit pay. Yet the testing scandal that occurred under her tenure as D.C. chancellor should become a prime example of why Merit Pay doesn’t work.—AS

Eager for Spotlight, but Not if It Is on a Testing Scandal
Source: The New York Times
By Michael Winerip
August 21, 2011

Why won’t Michelle Rhee talk to USA Today?

Ms. Rhee, the chancellor of the Washington public schools from 2007 to 2010, is the national symbol of the data-driven, take-no-prisoners education reform movement.

It’s hard to find a media outlet, big or small, that she hasn’t talked to. She’s been interviewed by Katie Couric, Tom Brokaw and Oprah Winfrey. She’s been featured on a Time magazine cover holding a broom (to sweep away bad teachers). She was one of the stars of the documentary “Waiting for Superman.” Read More

Duncan crafts a devil’s bargain for States: I’ll let you waive your NCLB test score requirements (and consequently not have to “turnaround” dozens of your “failing” schools, but only if you adopt measures that tie teacher pay to student test scores and open the door to charter schools.—AS

Why states should refuse Duncan’s NCLB waivers
Source: The Answer Sheet
By Monty Neill
August 9, 2011

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, backed by the White House, just confirmed that he will grant waivers from some “No Child Left Behind” test score requirements Read More

Montana refuses to raise their Adequate Yearly Progress scores as required by the No Child Left Behind Act (and consequently dozens of schools will not be labeled “low-performing” and opened up to “turnarounds.” Although Duncan initially threatens to pull Title I funding he eventually backs off. We should be demanding this happen in every state.—AS

State Challenges Seen as Whittling Away Federal Education Law
Source: The New York Times
By Sam Dillon
August 14, 2011

HELENA, Mont. — As hundreds of schools here and across the nation faced being labeled failures under the federal No Child Left Behind law, Montana education officials defiantly informed Washington this spring that they would stop raising testing targets as the law requires Read More

Another great report from the NYC Panel for Education Policy Protest against their Verizon contract.—AS

Bloomberg’s gift to Verizon
Source: Socialist Worker
By Sandy Boyer
August 22, 2011

Although it was recently announced that they were going back to work without a contract, while 45,000 Verizon workers were still on the picket line, New York City’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the company a $120 million present. Read More

Although it looks like the Verizon strike may be coming to an end (though it is not yet over) and the outcome looks grim, thousands of workers have experienced their own power and the an outpouring of solidarity over the last two weeks—a feeling not easily forgotten. In what has been referred to as “the Wisconsin of the private sector,” last week saw one of the most dramatic moments of solidarity since the “cheesehead rebellion.” As the Panel for Education Policy in NYC, which has long been a site of protest by education activists, voted to renew a contract with Verizon, hundreds of Verizon workers, teachers and parents rallied outside and inside against the vote. Below are two reports and three videos from the protest.—AS

No Reception at the PEP Meeting
Source: Ed Vox
By Katie O’Hare
August 18, 2011

A crowd of disheartened and discouraged parents, teachers and striking Verizon members left tonight’s Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) meeting after the panel approved, by a vote of 8-4, the controversial $120 million Verizon contract. Read More