The Network for Public Education is an advocacy group whose goal is to fight to protect, preserve and strengthen our public school system, an essential institution in a democratic society. Our mission is to protect, preserve, promote, and strengthen public schools and the education of current and future generations of students. We will accomplish this by networking groups and organizations focused on similar goals in states and districts throughout the nation, share information about what works and what doesn’t work in public education, and endorse and rate candidates for office based on our principles and goals. More specifically, we will support candidates who oppose high-stakes testing, mass school closures, the privatization of our public schools and the outsourcing of its core functions to for-profit corporations, and we will support candidates who work for evidence-based reforms that will improve our schools and the education of our nation’s children.
To Members and Supporters of NPE:
While the elites meet on Mackinac Island, far from the people they claim to speak for, to plan their attacks on public education, the Network for Public Educationcontinues to build a sturdy alliance among grassroots groups and individuals across the country. Our numbers are growing, and the rationale for our existence grows stronger every day.
The major events of recent weeks validate our reason for being.
First the bad news: Mayor Emanuel’s arbitrary closing of more than four dozen schools showed how heartless these alleged reformers are. It shows how willing they are to disregard the needs of children and communities. NPE used its networks to tell the story to parent and teacher leaders across the nation. This was the biggest mass shutdown of public schools in our history, not counting the deliberate school closures in the 1950s in Virginia meant to prevent desegregation. The only positive aspect to this debacle was that it revealed clearly that Mayor Emanuel has no plan to educate children, only a plan to grab their real estate.
Now the good news: one of our very first endorsements went to Monica Ratliff, an experienced teacher who was running for the Los Angeles school board. Monica was outspent about 50-1, but she managed to win anyway. She had a strong group of volunteers, especially teachers in Los Angeles who believed in her. We were thrilled by her victory and hope that our endorsement encouraged a few people to vote for her.
There are many signs and portents that show that the “reformers” are on the wrong side of history. On their side is a vast amount of money. On our side are parents and teachers devoted to children, public schools, and democracy. We believe the tide of history is turning in our favor. Everything the “reformers” do fails. It bears no fruit. At some point, the big-money backers will look for another hobby.
Let’s work together, join forces, organize, and strategize to make that day come sooner. It will come.
President, Network for Public Education
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