Links & Resources

What we’re reading and who we know:

Budgets
School District of Philadelphia’s budget website.

School funding

  • National Report Card: Is School Funding Fair?“: A state by state report card on school funding ranking states by funding level, funding distribution, state efforts, and public school coverage. Where do you think PA lands?
  • School Finance 101: A smart, funny and data driven blog by Dr. Bruce Baker at Rutgers University which breaks down school finance issues. Education’s Nate Silver?

Leadership

  • Stan Karp: The Corporate Reform Agenda: What do we mean when we talk about a “corporate reform” agenda vs. an educational agenda? Rethinking Schools’ Stan Karp breaks down the policies and proposals of corporate reformers driving failed educational experiments and undermining public education.
  • A Parent’s Guide to the Broad Academy: A incisive look at the Broad Academy and its graduates, who are superintendents at many large urban districts. Philadelphia’s last three superintendents have all graduated from or lectured at the Broad Academy.

School closings & improving school buildings

  • 21st Century Schools Fund: A website devoted to helping parents and communities build campaigns to rethink underutilized buildings and create options for modernizing school facilities. Includes manuals, tool kits and lots of resources. Read quotes from 21st Century Schools Fund President Mary Filardo and Parents United founder Cecelia Thompson to see just how different the vision is around school facilities in this Notebook news story.

Analysis of school closings’ impact on student achievement.

Curriculum and quality instruction

  • Rethinking Schools: A national social justice teaching journal and publisher of critical teaching and learning.
  • Zinn Education Project: A wonderful website devoted to exploring a diverse multicultural people’s history of the U.S. in the vein of historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States

Testing

  • FairTest: A preeminent site for the negative impact of high stakes testing on student achievement and learning. Full of data, studies and advocacy ideas.

School Climate and Safety

  • Dignity in Schools Campaign: Seeks alternatives to push-out, zero tolerance and other policies contributing to the school to prison pipeline.

Charter schools and school choice

Class size

  • Class Size Matters: A clearinghouse of information on the importance of lower class sizes. Although it focuses specifically on New York City, it contains lots of information, data and advocacy ideas on class size issues.
Our Partners
  • Media Mobilizing Project: Using multimedia to help communities tell their stories.
  • Philadelphia Home and School Council: The official citywide grouping of HSAs across the city. We have long partnered with PHSC to work with parents and school communities.
  • Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia: Since 1969, PILCOP has sought justice for Philadelphia students and families and specializes in school funding and services for special needs students.
  • Parents Across America: Parents United is a chapter of PAA, a national parent advocacy organization linking parent organizers across the country to fight for progressive change in the national education agenda. This site is full of parent advocacy successes and up to date research on school reform.
More Advocacy groups
Local
  • Alliance of Philadelphia Public Schools: A newer pro-public schools advocacy group.
  • Association of Philadelphia School Librarians: The official site representing the District’s librarians has some great research on the decline in school librarians and research on the links between school libraries and improved literacy.
  • Caucus of Working Educators: A new social justice caucus of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
  • Committee of Seventy: A non-partisan government watchdog advocating for ethics and transparency in governance. Has recently engaged around major School District issues.
  • Education Law Center: This 35-year old organization has successfully fought for the rights of Philadelphia students and families and specializes in school funding and services for special needs students and English language learners.
  • Father’s Day Rally Committee: A grassroots organization and partner of Parents United promoting African American men to take action on behalf of their communities in order to effect positive change.
  • Germantown Clergy Initiative: A faith organization and partner of Parents United promoting Christian support and partnership with the students, families and school community of Germantown High School.
  • JUNTOS: A South Philadelphia based organization representing the interests of Philadelphia’s Mexican and other Latino populations. JUNTOS has an active parent group working to improve services and supports for English Language Learners
  • PCAPS: The Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) is a coalition of organizations bringing direct action and fresh organizing to Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia Student Union: A citywide student organizing group and a founder of the Campaign for Non-Violent Schools
  • Public Citizens for Children and Youth: A regional organization dedicated to serving the needs of Pennsylvania children and youth
  • Teacher Action Group: Philadelphia’s TAG chapter is dedicated to social justice unionism and making educators as leaders in school turnaround
  • Youth United for Change: A citywide student organizing group focused on small schools and effecting change at local high schools

State advocacy groups

  • Education Voters PA: A 501(c)(4) lobbying group representing the political and electoral interests of public education supporters
  • Keystone State Education Coalition: A statewide network supporting public education advocacy. It has one of the best news roundups statewide on public education.
  • Yinzercation: A group of southwest PA parents fighting for quality public schools and writing an extraordinarily popular and influential blog.

National advocacy groups

  • National Opportunity to Learn Campaign: An organization devoted to helping schools figure out the supports needed to ensure every child has access to a quality education.
  • Network for Public Education: A 501(c)(4) advocacy group founded by Diane Ravitch, Leonie Haimson, Anthony Cody and others, designed to lobby and support public schools nationwide.

More must read sites

  • Diane Ravitch: This pro-public ed crusader leads the charge with her blog documenting the failures of corporate ed reform and highlighting public ed warriors building coalitions to champion our schools.
  • Valerie Strauss, The Answer Sheet: A quality curated collection of the best of education readings on the web.
  • Edushyster: When you want to cry, Edushyster’s Jennifer Berkshire will do her best to make you laugh at the same time as she keeps tabs on the corporate reform agenda in her unique inimitable style.

These resources are just a few of our suggestions. Please share your own inspirations!

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