Notes from Diane – March 22, 2013: Our Positive Agenda

Diane Ravitch President

Diane Ravitch President

Dear Friends,

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 psychologists.
  • 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, and superintendents.
  • 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 learned.
  • 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 marketing agents.
  • 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.

Diane

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