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(Fill-in-the-Blank) Resolution Opposing School Privatization

May 20, 2019

An Ohio political party issued a powerful statement against school privatization by unanimously passing this resolution at its Executive Committee meeting. Diane Ravitch published this important story of the Ohio Democratic Party’s support for public education and encouraged every political party around the nation to follow its lead.

Public education advocates can help make it happen by forwarding this post to their state political party (any party) leadership, and advising them how crucial it is to take a stand. Advocates could even offer to draft the document for the party by copying, pasting, editing, and filling-in-the-blanks in the template below. It’s a simple yet significant task to create a resolution that supports the state’s public school districts and rejects the school privatization agenda.

(Fill-in-the-Blank) Resolution
Opposing School Privatization

WHEREAS, over ____ traditional public school districts in (State) serve more than ___ million students; and

WHEREAS, the state has the constitutional responsibility to secure a thorough and efficient system of public school districts; and

WHEREAS, adequate and equitable funding is required to fulfill the state’s constitutional responsibility to (State)’s school children; and

WHEREAS, students deserve a quality early childhood and K-12 education, certified teachers who have a voice in the policies which affect their schools, a rich curriculum that prepares students for college, careers, and meaningful participation as citizens; and

WHEREAS, the public school privatization agenda, which includes state takeovers, charter schools, voucher schemes, and a high-stakes test-and-punish philosophy, relies on destructive policies that harm students and blame educators that has proven to be ineffective at bringing efficiency and cost savings to our schools; and

WHEREAS, education profiteers dedicated to the public school privatization agenda and anti-educator initiatives also fund organizations entrenched in their movement to replace district schools with charter and private schools, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Thomas Fordham Institute, Chiefs for Change, Teach for America, and Democrats for Education Reform; and be it

THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the (State Political Party) rejects the public school privatization movement and opposes making Ohio’s public schools private or becoming segregated again through the lobbying and campaigning efforts of affiliated organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Thomas Fordham Institute, Chiefs for Change, Teach for America, and Democrats for Education Reform; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the (State Political Party) reaffirms its commitment to free accessible public school districts which are adequately and equitably funded to guarantee a comparable education for ALL children.

Adopted: (Date)

Meet with the political party leadership and share the resolution, as well as the links to educate about why those organizations (ALEC etc) are bad for the state’s schools. Ask that the resolution be considered for passage at the next central committee meeting, and be sure to request an invitation to the meeting.

To strengthen the chances of getting the resolution passed, contact the party’s central committee members through personal letters, emails, FB messages, and phone calls to pass along the resolution and impress upon them how important it would be to make a bold statement against school privatization. Forward the resolution to the state’s teachers’ union(s) and other education organizations to make sure they are also on board.

Diane Ravitch wrote, “If every state political party passed similar resolutions, the candidates would be forced to be equally resolute in support of public schools.”

PEP agrees – let’s do it!

 

ALEC: https://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Privatizing_Public_Education,_Higher_Ed_Policy,_and_Teachers

https://nepc.colorado.edu/blog/education-secretary

https://educationvotes.nea.org/tag/american-legislative-exchange-council/?_ga=2.54812715.1860193055.1550683722-197632480.1546258257

https://www.aft.org/resolution/opposition-alec-and-alec-education-agenda

Fordham:

https://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Articles/v14n6.pdf

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Thomas_B._Fordham_Foundation

Chiefs for Change:

https://www.inthepublicinterest.org/jeb-bush-emails/

http://chiefsforchange.org/ohio-superintendent-of-public-instruction-paolo-demaria-joins-chiefs-for-change-membership/

https://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/reform-selling-reform-chiefs-for-change-promoting-relay-graduate-school-of-education/

Teach for America:

https://www.salon.com/2014/01/13/teach_for_americas_pro_corporate_union_busting_agenda_partner/

https://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/teach-for-america-is-looking-for-a-lobbyist-interested/

https://www.rethinkingschools.org/articles/an-open-letter-to-new-teach-for-america-recruits

http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2019/03/teach-for-america-now-with-less-teaching.html

Democrats for Education Reform (DFER):

https://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/03/13065/how-dfer-leaders-channel-out-state-dark-money-colorado-and-beyond

https://www.coloradopolitics.com/news/dfer-why-colo-democrats-threw-it-out-of-their-state/article_9f431daf-b7c4-52ff-a528-ea0b812f7de2.html

https://janresseger.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/17023/

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Voices

Dawn’s Story

I am a public school teacher in Oberlin, Ohio. As I do year after year, I had my fifth-graders write editorials for the Newspaper in Education contest sponsored by our local Chronicle-Telegram newspaper. And as I always do, I gave the students free choice to choose their topics and to come up with their own polished submissions.

When so many of them started writing about testing, I freaked out a little because prior to this month’s AIR testing, I had rarely even mentioned the topic to them, refusing to stress them out about the upcoming three weeks of testing. I sent some of their work to our principal with a note that said, in so many words, “Holy smokes, look at what these kids are saying. I promise that I haven’t been stressing them out about these tests!” She wrote back saying she thought their submissions sounded just fine.

I’m so thankful to have a principal who values our students’ feelings.

When I talked to the kids about the testing, I told them how surprised I was by their topic choices and asked why they were feeling so worried. After all, I told them, I had barely mentioned the topic and told them I’d be the last person to put pressure on them or try to stress them out. One student told me, “You are working with the wrong kids, Mrs. Randall. You don’t have to stress us out. We stress ourselves out enough for all of us.”

They then started sharing stories about last year’s PARCC test, when they tested on and off from February through May when they were in 4th-grade. They shared about how scared they were that they wouldn’t pass the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee reading test the year before that and then fail the entire year. Ohio legislation is insane.

But worst of all, one student said, “This is the third new kind of test we’ve had in three years. When will Ohio get this right?”

This same student was the one who took it upon himself to go to the Ohio Department of Education website on his Chromebook and research his topic and find out that some schools were able to still do paper/pencil tests, and he was pretty upset that he couldn’t.

I sent a note to the newspaper staff member about all their submissions and she told me to please not censor their writing, but to send it all in. She wanted to see it all.

Today, I opened the newspaper supplement to these two student submissions ruling a whole spread. Apparently, the judges heard them loud and clear and felt their words needed to be heard by our community.

All this high-stakes testing is really starting to take a toll on kids. When will our legislature hear and care about their voices?

Each child in my class is the SAME child who has been forced to sit through high-stakes testing year after year after year. When will enough be enough?

Read more