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Re: Action ideas

Excellent memo! A couple additions re: Congress

Monty Neill wrote:
> To: Listservs and others
> From: Monty Neill, FairTest

> Senate
> -- The chair of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources is
> James Jeffords (R-VT) 728 SHOB, Washington, DC 20510; (202) 224-5141
> -- The ranking Senate Committee member is Edward Kennedy (D-MA) 315
> SROB, Washington DC 20510;
> -- Chair of the Subcommittee on Children and Families is Judd Gregg
> (R-NH), 393 SROB, Washington, DC 20510; Tel: 202-224-3324.
> -- Note also Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who has introduced a bill that has
> similarities with the Bush plan (we do not have the exact bill) and may
> be an important factor in the Senate's debate. SHOB, Washington, D.C.
> 20510; (202) 224-4041
> House
> -- The chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce is
> John Boehner (R-?) 1011 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515; (202)
> 225-6205;

As noted in a previous email, Boehner is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

> -- I think the ranking minority member is George Miller, D-CA, 2205
> Rayburn HOB; Washington, D.C. 20515; (202) 225-2095. Miller has become
> very pro-testing.

We really should get some of our California folk to kick Miller's ass.
He represents the East Bay, across from San Francisco. Unleash Susan
Harman (though she probably does not live in Miller's district -- I bet
she knows lots of folks who do)!
> We will post more on this when it is available. When contacting them,
> note that as chair/ranking member, they have particularly great
> influence, which is why you are writing/calling them even though you are
> not from their state (unless of course you are).
> 2) Persuade groups you are a part of:
> Part of the way we can win this is to develop a coalition of groups to
> oppose the Bush plan. Education and civil rights groups are most likely,
> but other civic groups might be persuaded to participate. For example
> (and just an example!), while a high-ranking NEA staff person questioned
> the testing plan, the NEA has not yet taken a public stance. We do not
> know of any state NEA affiliates who have taken a stance. Thus, you
> could reach your state NEA and or reach to the national or have the
> state reach to the national. We will be posting names of organizations
> that take a stance on this as they do so -- see our website as well as
> we will send to the listservs.
> A. If you reach some local or state group(s) work to get them to
> collectively reach out to their reps and senators. If there are a number
> of them, get them to form a coalition to do this.
> B. If you get local or state organizations to take this up, work with
> them to do so publicly, to not just pass a resolution but to act on it
> in terms of reaching congresspeople and the public.
> C. Possible draft resolution your group or coalition could endorse (and
> could use in framing a letter to the editor, etc.):
> "We, the members/board of _______ hereby call upon the Members of
> Congress who represent city/state/region in the U.S. Senate and House of
> Representatives to oppose any legislation mandating that every state
> test ever student test every year from grades three to grade eight. We
> believe that this one-size-fits-all bureaucratic scheme will neither
> promote accountability not improve those schools which really need help.
> Instead it may damage both equity and educational quality by diverting
> resources to the narrow coaching that can improve test scores."
> 3) Educate and mobilize locally and in your states.
> A) Send letters and op eds to your local newspaper(s), both dailies and
> local weeklies. The letter you send to your congressperson can usually
> be a basis for a letter to the editor.
> B) Contact local education reporters, who might be doing "local react"
> stories about the Bush ed. plan. Also meet with editorial boards of
> local newspapers, especially major ones.
> C) Call local talk shows, get on local cable TV shows, etc.
> D) Speak to local groups
> E) This effort overlaps with reaching out to local groups and getting
> them involved.
> F) Use this as an opportunity to address state and local testing issues
> and to link the two -- for example, in many states the Bush plan would
> increase the amount of state testing, or it would force states to use
> them for accountability in ways they are not now doing. Overtesting,
> misuse of tests, all the harmful consequences, are similar regardless of
> who mandates the testing. Put another way, use the Bush plan not only as
> a threat, but an opportunity to further the work on this issue.
> Lastly, circulate these ideas and arguments against the Bush plan far
> and wide.
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