Jessie B. Ramey

7 Religious Reasons I'm Not Letting My Kids Take Standardized Tests

As we head into several weeks of high-stakes-testing here in Pennsylvania, I would like to share with you the religious reasons my children will not be taking the state mandated PSSAs. Here is an open letter I sent to Dr. Linda Lane, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools; Dr. Lisa Augustin, Director of Assessment; Ms. Jamie Kinzel-Nath, Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 principal; and all of our children’s wonderful teachers.

Keep reading... Show less

The Problem with School 'Choice'

We Americans love choice. Just look at the cereal aisle in Giant Eagle. You could choose a different box every day of the month and still have more varieties left to try. But public schools are not corn flakes. Here’s the problem with “choice” when we’re talking about public education.

Keep reading... Show less

Six Questions for Teach for America

Why would the Pittsburgh school board invite an organization into our schools that could potentially harm students and the district itself? I can’t answer that question, but it appears that is what they are about to do by signing a deal with Teach for America.

Keep reading... Show less

A Teacher’s Troubling Account of Giving a 106-Question Standardized Test to 11 Year Olds

We’re just a month into school and already the testing madness has begun. Many Pittsburgh Public School students have just taken their first round of standardized tests, and it’s time to ask some serious questions about their purpose, the ever-increasing number of tests, and the impact on our children.

Keep reading... Show less

PA Gets NCLB Waiver, But Still No Funding For Schools in Low-Income Districts

The following was originally posted on Ramey's blog Yinzercation.

Keep reading... Show less

A Handy Reference Guide on Who is Donating to Corporate-Style Education Reform

The way some of them throw around the green stuff, you'd think corporate style education reformers were made of money. Oh, wait. Some of them are. As Big Money plays a bigger and bigger role in shaping public education, it can be hard to keep all the players straight— from wealthy individuals, to foundations, superPACs, astroturf groups and corporations. Here's a handy reference guide:  

Keep reading... Show less

The Everyday Heroism of Our Nation's Teachers

I didn’t want to send my kids to school this morning. After the shootings on Friday at Sandy Hook elementary, I suspect like many parents across the country I just wanted to keep my kids by my side and not let them out of my sight. With the horrifying news all over the media this weekend, I talked to our boys a little about what happened, mostly to assure them that they would be OK in their own school.

Keep reading... Show less

Don't Be Fooled: For Investors, Charter Schools Are Cash Cows

Charter schools are cash cows feeding at the public trough. Oh, there are a few good ones here and there, to be sure. But if there was ever any doubt that charter schools have become Big Business, take a look at the list of the largest campaign contributors in Pennsylvania. Three of the top ten on a new “Power Players” report are throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars into state politics to gain favorable legislation for charter schools and we need to be asking why.

Keep reading... Show less

Hey, Corporate Reformers: Guess What? We Won't Back Down, Either

Have you heard the buzz around “Won’t Back Down,” a major new Hollywood movie opening nationwide on Friday? It’s time for that buzz to start sounding like a swarm of angry bees coming from anyone who cares about our public schools. Here’s why.

Keep reading... Show less

White House Education Advisors Talk the Talk -- But Can They Walk the Walk When it Comes to Dismantling NCLB?

So there we were at the White House. Forty “education leaders” from Pennsylvania invited to meet with President Obama’s senior policy advisors as well as top staff at the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). The room contained district superintendents, school board members, principals, college presidents, education professors, representatives from a host of education associations, a super-PAC school privatizer, educational consultants, and various non-profit directors. And one elephant.

Keep reading... Show less
BRAND NEW STORIES

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.