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Reform Matters: September 27, 2012
posted by: Alix | September 26, 2012, 01:15 PM   

Welcome to the Association of American Educators' online biweekly publication, Reform Matters. This education reform-focused publication features both original AAE content and a compilation of the latest news from the growing education reform community.


As the largest national non-union professional association for educators, AAE is a non-partisan choice for teachers across the country. We are proud to be member-driven and only take positions on issues after our members are surveyed at a majority. The studies, articles, and policies showcased in this newsletter have not necessarily been endorsed by AAE; however, by sharing new and innovative trends in education policy, we hope to educate and empower our members by examining new possibilities in education.


Feel free to forward this email on to a colleague, or encourage them to join our email list. We hope that you will provide us with feedback and consider submitting an article or study for consideration.

AAE Blog Roll: Don't forget to bookmark the AAE blog and the AAE Charters blog for original daily posts on trends in education reform and professional development. 

NBC Holds 3rd Annual Education Nation
Nashville Schools to Lose $3 Million over Rejection of Charter School
New Study: Segregation Prominent in American Schools
The Value of Substitute Teachers vs. Community Volunteers
Center for Education Reform Releases Parent Power Index Tool
Study: Academic Success in Special Education Not Linked to Spending

AAE Sounds Off: Don't miss AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner's statement on the Wisconsin court decision overturning Act 10.

Click here to watch AAE Member Kristi Lacroix discuss Act 10, teacher freedoms, and the non-union option on Fox and Friends Sunday.

Education Reform Goes Hollywood: "Won't Back Down" Hits Theaters This Friday

This weekend, a feature film highlighting struggling schools and parent and teacher empowerment will be released to theaters everywhere. " Won't Back Down," opening this Friday, September 28, gives moviegoers the opportunity to watch a film that pairs Hollywood entertainment with a message about American education reform.

"Won't Back Down" is the story of a single mother who refuses to accept that her daughter must attend a chronically failing school. Upon learning of a new "Parent Trigger" law that allows her to take back the school, she, along with a courageous teacher, fight to engage the community and turn the school around. The filmmakers have done their homework as the story is based on actual events in inner-city Los Angeles, California.

At times, the movie - starring award-winning actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Holly Hunter - is heartbreaking. However, it is also an optimistic story about what dedicated parents and teachers can do to ensure that students succeed, regardless of environment.

Like the characters in the movie, Americans everywhere want their children to go to schools that best suit their needs. "Won't Back Down" highlights an emerging trend among education stakeholders who are fed up with the status quo. Parents, taxpayers, and teachers are no longer willing to tolerate special interests and bureaucrats standing in the way of choice and successful schools. This film illustrates just one example of a community coming together to work toward meaningful education reform.

AAE encourages teachers and stakeholders everywhere to watch the film. "Won't Back Down" is an excellent portrayal of real-life education reform and the role that teachers can play in turning struggling schools around.

Click here to view the movie trailer.

Education Technology & Blended Learning

Should schools move from print to digital content by 2017? You decide. New Report: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age, State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), 9/25/12

Online resources for adapting to Common Core: Going Online to Ease Common-Core Transition, Education Week, Fall 2012 

Business is booming: Ed Tech Startups Transform Learning, CNBC, 9/25/12

Teacher Quality, School Budgets & Alternative Certification

Will comprehensive teacher evaluations improve the quality of instruction? A new report finds evidence of systematic growth in the effectiveness of mid-career teachers: Can Teacher Evaluation Improve Teaching?, Education Next, Fall 2012

Teachers speak out during Education Nation 2012: Watch the Teacher Town Hall, NBC, 9/23/12

On Trend: How to Grade Teachers, National Affairs, Fall 2012

Charter Schools, Choice & Reform Advocacy

Who are the real winners of the Chicago teacher strike? Commentary: Rahm Gets Rolled: Chicago's Winners & Losers, Rick Hess Straight Up, 9/20/12

Presidential Election News: Obama a Big Proponent of Charter Schools, NBC, 9/25/12
Mitt Romney: Teachers Unions' Contributions To Political Campaigns Should Be Limited, The Huffington Post, 9/26/12

From the States: Yes On Charter Schools, The Peach Pundit, 9/24/12

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