Parents, students slam high-stakes testing at opt-out forum

Among the lineup of speakers at a forum on high-stakes testing Thursday night, two young people stepped forward to share firsthand knowledge of the toll that the state’s annual standardized assessments can take on learning in the classroom and life beyond high school.

“My mom opted me out,” said Guillermo Santos, a 6th grader at Masterman, facing a room of 90 to 100 educators, parents, and students crowded into a conference room at the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St.

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2012 Green VP candidate Cheri Honkala challenges standardized testing in Philadelphia schools

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Green Party’s 2012 Vice Presidential candidate is taking a leading role in public school parents’ challenges to high stakes standardized testing.  Cheri Honkala, the parent of a child in the Philadelphia public school system, is also the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.

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Opt-Out of Standardized Testing

A Call To Action: 

Contact PPEHRC today at PPEHRCorg@gmail.com if you want to learn more about opting out of standardized testing, especially during these times of austerity. Let’s work to have every parent and student choosing to opt out of this discriminatory testing process! Join us for a hearing about opting out Nov. 19th, 3-5pm at City Council in Philadelphia. 

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The Fight for Education

On Monday, October 6th, the School Reform Commission (SRC) cancelled the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ (PFT) contract, costing teachers their health care benefits. This is yet another destructive act in a long line of attacks on Philadelphia’s public schools. The SRC and Governor Corbett have eliminated jobs, school programs, plus 24 schools. Yet, at the same time, Corbett is advocating for $1.7 billion in tax breaks for Shell Oil. The big business plans to build a plant in Beaver County that is expected to rank in the top ten air polluters. Philadelphia schools and our environment are breaking under the burden of these big business tax breaks. Teachers are being told it is their time to make sacrifices but they have been sacrificing all along with limited resources, over crowded classrooms and fulfilling extra roles such as counselor and nurse due to lack of funding for full time staff.

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Summer of Social Action!

Now Accepting Applications for Summer Internships

PPEHRC is looking for students interested in social and economic justice to take part in summer internships. This is a great opportunity to learn from seasoned leaders about organizing for economic human rights and be part of the movement to end poverty.

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Claire Marshall: My Alternative Spring Break Experience

I was blessed to have the opportunity to join PPERHC for their Alternative Spring Break. In both the social justice and environmental movements today, I am constantly troubled by the disconnect between those affected by inequality and injustice and those who attempt to respond to it. PPERHC is a powerful example where this gap is closed. Poor people around the country are effected on a daily basis, directly or indirectly by the lack of responsibility that the government and large corporations take for the communities whose space they exploit. Not everyone feels able to stand up to these injustices. Many are able to put class war, drug war, resource war on the back burner-as if there are other more important issues, as if these issues will only effect us in the future.

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Alternative Spring Break 2014

 Alternative Spring Break

Every Spring, PPEHRC hosts an Alternative Spring Break to engage students in economic justice and human rights issues. As an alternative spring break participant, students have the opportunity to learn about and participate in foreclosure defense, urban farming, food distributions, anti-homelessness activism, community organizing, and preparation for the third US Social Forum, to be hosted in Philadelphia. 

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