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Jeff Bernstein

Why Teachers Must Join the Fight for Public Education. Now. | Penn GSE Perspectives on ... - 0 views

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    "We are at a tipping point in Philadelphia.

    I say this as a teacher, fully committed to the promise of public education for all the young people living in this city I love, who has felt the repeated stab of the School District's systemic dysfunction and the State and City's structural abandonment.

    I say this as a teacher activist, who is engaged in the community-wide fight for public education.  I am a part of Teacher Action Group-Philadelphia (TAG) a member-run grassroots organization of educators working to strengthen our influence on the decisions that most affect us - how schools are run, funded, and governed - so that community control, equity, and fairness are back at the center of public education."
Jeff Bernstein

Associated Press Propaganda: What the AP Survey Really Shows | deutsch29 - 0 views

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    "In sum, the AP article does not reflect the declared purpose of the survey as evidenced by the survey questions. The parents completing the AP survey were not instructed in the use of the term "high stakes," including the potential, serious outcomes of high stakes testing.  They were also not informed of the high-stakes-testing requirements associated with Common Core.

    If one considers the survey results separate from the AP article, one sees parents who believe their children are receiving a better education than they did from excellent-yet-underpaid teachers who care about their students.  I dare the Joyce-Foundation-funded AP to print that info."
Jeff Bernstein

Are Street Protests Next in the Fight Over Education Reform? | The Nation - 0 views

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    "Showdowns in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and beyond have turned out parents and teachers in droves-and revealed how out of touch education reformers really are."
Jeff Bernstein

Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education | Randi Weingarten - 0 views

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    "The idea that teachers have the summer off is something of a myth. I recently spent a few days with several thousand teachers -- not at the beach, but at TEACH, the AFT's largest gathering of educators focused on their professional practice and growth. Teachers spent long days learning from fellow educators and other experts about concrete ways to improve teaching and learning. Many teachers told me how they were spending the rest of their summer: writing curriculum aligned to the new, challenging Common Core State Standards; taking classes, because teachers are lifelong learners; and working with students -- in enrichment camps and in programs to stem summer learning loss. So much for the dog days of August.

    But our conferees did much more. We also committed to reclaim the promise -- the promise of public education. Not as it is today or as it was in the past, but as what public education can be to fulfill our collective obligation to help all children succeed."
Jeff Bernstein

Stan Karp: Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education - 0 views

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    "While small schools and theme academies have faded as a focus of reform initiatives, charters have expanded rapidly. They raise similar issues and many more. In fact, given the growing promotion of charters by federal and state policymakers as a strategy to "reform" public education, the stakes are much higher.

    According to Education Week, there are now more than 6,000 publicly funded charter schools in the United States enrolling about 4 percent of all students. Since 2008, the number of charter schools has grown by almost 50 percent, while over that same period nearly 4,000 traditional public schools have closed.[i] This represents a huge transfer of resources and students from our public education system to the publicly funded, but privately managed charter sector. These trends raise concerns about the future of public education and its promise of quality education for all."
Jeff Bernstein

Parent Trigger: No Silver Bullet - 0 views

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    "This brief reviews the history and current status of Parent Trigger legislation, presents a critique of the legislation, and suggests alternative ways to meet the stated goals of a Parent Trigger."
Jeff Bernstein

How N.Y. is testing parents' patience  - NY Daily News - 0 views

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    "Did you know that our students were subjected to field tests again last week? Probably not. The New York State Education Department doesn't do an adequate job of informing parents about them.

    But there are four things every parent and taxpayer should know about these tests."
Jeff Bernstein

Jersey Jazzman: Whitty Nails "Won't Back Down" - 0 views

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    "Stephen Whitty of the Star-Ledger has Won't Back Down all figured out"
Jeff Bernstein

Leonie Haimson: Parents Want Options Beyond a "Trigger" - SchoolBook - 0 views

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    "The reality is that most parents do not want to close their schools or convert them into charters to be run by private corporations, where they may have even less voice and students fewer rights.

    They do not want the teachers' union to be destroyed, as it is the only organized, well-financed group acting to keep class sizes from mushrooming out of control and school budgets from further cuts."
Jeff Bernstein

Julie Cavanagh: The Truth Behind Won't Back Down - 0 views

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    "This week a film partially funded by Walden Media, which is owned by entrepreneur and conservative Philip Anschutz, will be released in theaters. The film, Won't Back Down, is a work of fiction but claims to be based on real life events and tells the story of a teacher and a parent in a 'failing' school who join forces to 'save their school.' Walden Media also funded Waiting for Superman, which was billed as a documentary on education and chronicled the stories of several families navigating the educational landscape intermixed with commentary from journalists, economists, philanthropists, and business folks who surmised the troubles of public education today. These two films differ in style, but their substance is aligned and their conclusion is the same: teacher unions are the obstacle to student achievement."
Jeff Bernstein

Won't Back Down Movie Review: My (ex) PTA President's Point of View « Beccarama - 0 views

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    "This week I went to a screening of Won't Back Down starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal.  The movie is about a mom and a teacher who band together and use the Parent Trigger law (which is never mentioned by name) to take over and turnaround a failing elementary school in Pittsburgh.  The film is loosely based on real events (though in my research I couldn't find anything other than the Los Angeles based parent trigger law, which was backed by a big charter school organization), and produced by the same man who produced Waiting for Superman. As someone who has been deeply embroiled in the discussion and reality of parents advocating for better schools, for student and parent rights, and as a PA C0-President who has worked closely with many teachers and administrators, this movie got to me on many levels. So, I have decided to break it down in two parts: As a movie and then as a propaganda film."
Jeff Bernstein

Gary Rubinstein reviews 'Won't Back Down' (spoiler alert) - 0 views

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    "As the lights dimmed and the opening credits rolled during my preview of 'Won't Back Down,' I got a little nervous.  Based on some of the commercials I had seen, I thought there was a chance that it was going to be a good 'film.'  I do think that a good film could be made about any subject, even one I might not agree with its underlying premise."
Jeff Bernstein

Sabrina Stevens: Why 'Won't Back Down' Just Doesn't Stack Up | Alternet - 0 views

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    "As a former union teacher and present union staff member, what struck me most profoundly while watching Won't Back Down was the stark disconnect between the way people and schools were characterized in the film and the way they are in the real world. That isn't surprising given that it's a Hollywood film, but it is harmful -- precisely because these kinds of stereotypes often fuel destructive and unnecessary divisions and tensions among parents, teachers and students in real life. Those divisions often stop people from working together to find effective, win-win solutions to problems that affect all of us."
Jeff Bernstein

Walmart, Right-Wing Media Company Hold Star-Studded Benefit Promoting Education Reform ... - 0 views

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    "The world's largest private-sector employer and the country's most prominent conservative entertainment company have teamed up to sponsor a fundraiser called "Teachers Rock." Backed by Walmart and Anschutz Film Group, the August 14 event will feature live performances from musicians like Josh Groban and appearances from actresses like Viola Davis; it will be broadcast August 17 as a CBS special with messages from actresses like Meryl Streep. And it will promote the upcoming feature film Won't Back Down, Anschutz's entry in the "education reform" wars.

    Won't Back Down is reportedly a highly sympathetic fictional portrayal of "parent trigger" laws, a major flashpoint in debates over education and collective bargaining. Under such laws, the submission of signatures from a majority of parents in a school triggers a "turnaround option," which can mean the replacement of a unionized school with a non-union charter. Such laws have been passed in several states, but due to court challenges, the "trigger" process has never been fully implemented."
Jeff Bernstein

Randi Weingarten Responds to Parent Trigger Film « Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "One can't help but be moved by the characters and story portrayed in Walden Media's film "Won't Back Down." The film is successful in driving home the sense of urgency parents and educators feel to do everything they can to provide the best possible education for their children. That is abundantly evident in this film-it's what I hear as I visit schools across the country, and it's what I heard when I sat down with parent and community groups from across the country last week.

    We share that pain and frustration. And we firmly believe that every public school should be a school where every parent would want to send his or her child and where every teacher would want to teach. Unfortunately, using the most blatant stereotypes and caricatures I have ever seen-even worse than those in "Waiting for 'Superman'"-the film affixes blame on the wrong culprit: America's teachers unions."
Jeff Bernstein

Schools Matter: Defending the Indefensible: KIPP - 0 views

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    "Advocacy that remains blind to evidence is a dangerous thing-especially in the pursuit of equity and democracy."
Jeff Bernstein

'Won't Back Down': Realities the movie ignores - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - 0 views

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    "Though the film "Won't Back Down," starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal, is not being released in theaters until the end of September, its backers are already drumming up support for it and its subject: the controversial "parent trigger" laws that have passed in a few states and are being considered by many others."
Jeff Bernstein

10 most inaccurate school reform axioms - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - 0 views

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    "Below Dov Rosenberg lists what he considers the 10 most inaccurate and damaging statements that some school reformers toss around. Rosenberg, who loves to help teachers use technology, has been serving North Carolina public school students and teachers for 11 years as a teacher and instructional technology facilitator."
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