ATTENTION ALL READERS – I saw the web film that is going to bring down the PARCC test!

I just previewed a short (about four minutes) but very powerful and moving web film that I truly believe is going to bring down the PARCC test. The video is on the continuous test preparation and the deleterious effects on our students and how parents are crying out for the abuse to be stopped now. It is full of parents voicing the truth about how their precious children are being damaged and how the love of learning is being destroyed before it has a chance to bud and blossom.

When I watched the film, it brought tears to my eyes and it also made me extremely angry. I felt really angry because just stopping the PARCC/SBAC tests is not going to stop the abuse. We have to stop the test – the evaluations – and the intrusion of profiteers into our classrooms. This film is one huge step in this war against the dehumanization of education.

So set your clocks and start the countdown now. The PARCC is going to come down with the premiere of this web film this Sunday March 1, 2015 at 5 PM EST, 4 PM CST and 2 PM PST. I will be posting it and will be asking all of you to post it far and wide.

So please get the word out that this web film is on the way.

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsUPDATE: The web film is finally out – Watch it here! From the amazing film maker Michael Elliot.

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BREAKING! Newark Student Union Call to Action!

I am so proud of these brave students fighting for their schools. We are all Newark. Please support these young voices by following their live-stream coverage and supporting their gofundme appeal.

#2015YearoftheStudent #studentvoices #DoNoHarm

The War Report on Public Education

Join Tanaisa Brown and the Newark Student Union as they Occupy the Office of Cami Anderson. These students are brave and really know how to take on the elusive Cami.

CALL TO ACTION: ALL NEWARK STUDENTS, TEACHERS, PARENTS, AND FELLOW COMMUNITY MEMBERS THAT STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH US AGAINST THE PRIVATIZATION OF OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM… COME OUT TOMORROW MORNING TO 2 CEDAR STREET. WE ASK THAT THE COMMUNITY COMES OUT AND WELCOMES CAMI ANDERSON WITH OPEN ARMS!

THERE WILL BE A PRESS CONFERENCE AS WELL (TIME NOT SPECIFIED YET). LETS SHOW THE REST OF THE WORLD THAT NEWARK IS UNITED AND STANDING STRONGER THAN EVER!

STUDENTS: GET YOUR FRIENDS!
PARENTS: STAND WITH YOUR CHILDREN!
TEACHERS: THIS IS YOUR FIGHT TOO! 

Watch Live Stream Here:

Read and watch news coverage here:

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2015/02/live_newark_student_activists_occupy_district_offi.html#incart_story_package

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A Follow-Up on Maggie’s and Josh’s Letters to Governor Cuomo

A few weeks back I published this amazing letter written by Josh – a fourth grader – to Governor Cuomo about the injustices he personally sees in his own education.
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This letter has over 26,000 views as of today.

The second letter I published was from Maggie – an extremely articulate and feisty fifth grader also from New York, also addressed to Governor Cuomo, complaining about her public school education.

Maggies letter 2 2 2015In both of these letters, the children are complaining about how the testing is hurting them and their teachers and how their education is lacking music, the arts, and recess because of the flawed reform agenda.

So the saga of Josh and Maggie continues. Last week, Maggie’s mother posted two more letters – one that Governor Cuomo sent as a reply to Maggie’s letter and a second that Maggie wrote in response to his letter.

Here is Governor Cuomo’s response to Maggie:

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And here is our Maggie’s response to his letter:

10974664_920143638010780_2400886420286556389_oFrom the mouths of our children come the real questions here. Why is the Governor not responding to the cries of thousands of children and their parents? Maggie and Josh represent Every Boy and Every Girl in New York State. They want to know why their teachers are spending so much time testing them. They want to know why their teachers are being graded based on these tests. They want to know why they are being reduced to a test score. In addition, they want to know why they are being deprived of an education that educates their minds, souls, bodies, and spirits. They want Governor Cuomo to write back and assure them that they are much much more than a test score. Instead Maggie has gotten a form letter talking about the importance of public service? This is not right or just.

So, I publish this follow-up hoping that the cries of the students and their parents will be heard. I truly believe they deserve an authentic reply to their cries for help.

As of this posting, Josh has not received a letter back from the Governor but I do wonder if it would be the exact same letter that Maggie received.

An Update on our First Student Hero – Super Ewan!

“I’m making a difference by being a help to Detroit’s needy. How can you make a difference?”

That is the challenge this Michigan eight year old is declaring to the world. If he can help people, why can’t we all help people in need? If we all did what Ewan is doing, much misery would be alleviated.

Here is the wonderful video Ewan is sending to the White House. Please watch it and share it so it can inspire many to do what Ewan is doing – helping people in need.

Super Ewan made this video in consideration for the 2015 White House Student Film Festival. To find out more about this young super hero go to his website and his Facebook page. Here is the first Poetic Justice blog about Ewan.

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Student Voices

I am reblogging this great collection of NY State High School Student voices. These were collected by Christine Zirkelbach – an angry mom who just wants the voices of these NY state high school students heard.

One Mom's Journey Through Education Reform

The following are letters written by students from a high school in the Hudson Valley.  This is very good school district, with a strong sense of community.  The graduation rate is 93% (keep in mind graduation rate counts only those who graduate in 4 years).  This year, special education students no longer have the Regents Competency Tests (RCTs) as a safety net if they are unable to pass the Regents.  Instead, they have to pass a math, science, US History, Global History & Geography and English Language Arts Regents exam with a 55 (or borrow points if one grade is high enough to loan to another exam). These tests are meant to be challenging, which makes them unfair for students with many different learning disabilities.  These students have taken some of the these exams 3, 4, 5 or more times and are now seniors.  Some made it and others are ready…

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Dear Governor Andrew Cuomo – A Fifth Grader Speaks Out – Maggie’s Letter

Two days ago, I published a letter from Josh – a fourth grader from NYC. That one letter has gotten over 13,000 views from all over the globe. I truly believe IT IS TIME for STUDENT VOICES to be heard. Today I received this letter from the parent of Maggie – a fifth grader from Central NY State. I am honored to share Maggie’s letter with my readers.

Maggies letter 2 2 2015Maggie is the fourth Student Hero presented on this Poetic Justice blog. She, too, is bold and brave and not afraid to put her opinions in writing. I truly hope that Maggie’s letter will be read by many and will encourage other students to voice their opinions in writing to the governors of their states.

As Maggie writes:

“Please read this letter completely and thoroughly until you (Governor Cuomo) get my gist. I am not the only student who doesn’t appreciate you trying to get our teachers fired.”

I do not think any of us adults could have said this any better. BRAVO MAGGIE!