education reform

72 petitions

Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Kirsten Gillibrand, MaryEllen Elia, New York State Department Of Education, Board of Regents, New York State House, Liz Krueger, Brian Benjamin

Encourage schools in New York State and beyond to #teachaboutwomen and gender

Petition New York State to set an example and teach about women in high school! #teachaboutwomen “I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong.” -Vita Sackville-West Young women and girls need role models for leading lives of consequence, conviction and influence. It is time that New York State's schools provided them with those role models. Unfortunately, high school curricula, especially in history, almost completely ignore women's experiences, priorities, and their individual and collective contributions to change. The New York State curriculum, for example, only includes includes 10 references to women or gender in for the entire four years of history courses. In a time when women are fighting for equal pay, mutual respect and to have their voices heard, we must correct this long-standing inequity. Throughout history, women have led rich lives of activity, power, and influence. It is time that all young people learn about how both women and men have and do shape today's world. It is time we teach about women.  Share your stories about powerful women who have inspired you or women who you think should be on the curriculum: Twitter:  @teachaboutwomen Hashtags: #teachaboutwomen #womenonthecurriculum Facebook: Teach about Women  “We have to be more reflective about what power is, what it is for, and how it is measured. To put it another way, if women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women?” - Mary Beard, Women and Power: A Manifesto  The Problem: There is a problem in high school classrooms that reverberates in our national consciousness: a lack of women's voices.  ™ In schools around the country, current Social Studies curricula largely ignore women and the complex history of  gender relations, instead focusing almost exclusively on the accomplishments of men, the power structures men create, and the definitions of authority men support.  History classes should not reproduce the past’s power structures but dismantle them by analyzing their underlying causes and the various effects they had, and still have, on people’s lives. ™ Women have always led rich lives of activity and power: making decisions, negotiating change, participating in commerce, and contributing to civic life. In a time when women continue to struggle to be taken seriously as leaders, paid equitably, and respected in their bodies and minds, we urgently need to teach young people to see women as full and active participants in the human experience.  Teaching about women as central to history promotes awareness and respect for women, their perspectives, their priorities, their individual and collective contributions to world history, their professional lives, and their civic participation. The Proof: New York State's High School history curricula, like most around the nation, includes little to no information about women. ™ As of the 2017/2018 school year, there are a total of 10 references to women and gender in New York State’s High School Social Studies Curriculum. ™ In eight out of the 10 cases “women” appears on a list with other groups following phrases like “diverse groups” and “such as” or “including.” ™ As of 2017, 1% of the questions on the US History Regents Examination address women at all. ™Gender appears zero times in the 12 Grade courses on Participation in Government and Civics and Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance. The Solution: Teach about women by putting women on the curriculum and making resources for teaching about women and gender readily available. Re-write the NYS Social Studies Standards, grades 9-12 to include rich material that addresses women’s experience, the accomplishments of individual women and questions of gender throughout the year. Add a criterion under Social Studies Practices, grades 9-12 – Civic Practices that includes “developing awareness of gender equity and its complex history.” Add “Read for underlying gender, racial or other biases” to the NYS Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, grades 6-12 under “Key Ideas and Details.” Build an online database that is free, easily-accessible, and dedicated to materials and resources that address women and gender, the accomplishments of individual women, sexuality, intersectionality, and the complex history of gendered relationships. In developing this database, topics and subjects should be sure to invite and support the inclusion of diverse aspects of the human experience including but not limited to questions of race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, sexuality, age, and ability. To learn more, contact Georgina Emerson at 

Georgina Emerson
168 supporters
Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Carmen Fariña, Elizabeth Rose, Ilene Altschul

Bridge the Funding Gap and Cap Growth at Mott Hall II

Please sign this petition to support current and future students at Mott Hall II public middle school in Manhattan's District 3 En Español abajo: As parents of students at Mott Hall II, we support the idea of our school growing in 2018-2019 by helping to take in middle school students from P.S. 165 Robert E. Simon, which is being truncated from K to 8 to K to 5. However, we are concerned that the Department of Education’s plans for truncating P.S. 165 and fellow District 3 middle school Wadleigh have not been adequately developed and could harm both new and continuing students at Mott Hall II. We urge the DOE to take the following actions: 1.       The DOE must limit growth at Mott Hall II in 2018-2019 to one section per grade and give priority to transitioning middle school students from P.S. 165. Mott Hall II is rightly celebrated for achieving high-performance outcomes in the most racially, economically, and academically diverse middle school in District 3. We support expanding the school to welcome one section per grade from P.S. 165, but responsibility for displaced students must be shared among all of the district’s high-performing schools. With too large an influx of students from multiple middle schools, Mott Hall II could become factionalized, hurting all students. 2.       The DOE must fill the gap in Title I funding that will occur in 2018-2019. With an influx of students from P.S. 165, Mott Hall II will become eligible for Title I funding, which supports the needs of students from low-income families. However, due to a bureaucratic quirk, it will take a full year for the funding to kick in, meaning that the school will be deprived of hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2018-2019, shortchanging the education of its students. We ask that the DOE commit to doing whatever it takes to fill the Title I funding gap.  Without these commitments, we are greatly concerned that the DOE’s proposal will endanger the educational outcomes for our current and future students. We encourage the DOE to work closely with the Mott Hall II administration and community to ensure the success of our school’s growth. Supporting Materials: Letter of support from Gale Brewer, Borough President. Por favor firme esta petición para apoyar alumnos corrientes y futuros de la escuela secundaria pública, Mott Hall II en el distrito 3 de Manhattan. ¡CUBRE LA FALTA DE FINANCIACIÓN Y PONGA UN LIMITE DE CRECIMIENTO EN MOTT HALL II!  Como padre de un estudiante en Mott Hall II, nosotros apoyamos la idea de que nuestra escuela crezca en el 2018-2019 ayudando a admitir estudiantes de secundaria de la escuela P.S 165 Robert E. Simón, la cual va a ser truncada desde K hasta 8 y K hasta 5. Sin embargo, nos preocupa que los planes del Departamento de Educación para truncar P.S 165 y la escuela secundaria Wadleigh, también perteneciente al distrito 3, no este adecuadamente desarrollado y pueda ser perjudicial para ambos estudiantes, los nuevos y los que continuarán en Mott Hall II. Necesitamos urgentemente que el DOE tome las siguientes acciones: 1.       El DOE debe limitar el crecimiento de Mott Hall II en 2018-2019 a una sección por grado y dar prioridad a la transición de los estudiantes de secundaria de P.S. 165. Mott Hall II esta justamente celebrado por lograr resultados de alto rendimiento en la escuela secundaria más racial, económica y académicamente diversa en El Distrito 3. Apoyamos la expansión de la escuela para dar la bienvenida a una sección por grado de P.S. 165, pero la responsabilidad de los estudiantes desplazados debe ser compartida entre todas las escuelas de alto rendimiento del distrito. Con una gran afluencia de estudiantes de múltiples escuelas intermedias, Mott Hall II podría convertirse en una facción que perjudicaría a todos los estudiantes. 2.       El DOE debe llenar el vacío en el financiamiento del Título I que ocurrirá en 2018-2019. Con una afluencia de estudiantes de P.S. 165, Mott Hall II será elegible para recibir fondos del Título I, que respalda las necesidades de los estudiantes de familias de bajos ingresos. Sin embargo, debido a un capricho burocrático, tomará un año completo para que los fondos entren en vigor, lo que significa que la escuela se verá privada de cientos de miles de dólares en 2018-2019, menoscabando la educación de sus estudiantes. Pedimos que el DOE se comprometa a hacer lo que sea necesario para llenar el vacío de financiación del Título I. Sin estos compromisos, estamos muy preocupados de que la propuesta del DOE ponga en peligro los resultados educativos para nuestros estudiantes actuales y futuros. Alentamos al DOE a colaborar estrechamente con la administración y la comunidad de Mott Hall II para garantizar el éxito del crecimiento de nuestra escuela.      

Mott Hall II PTA
475 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to Jay Inslee, Patty Murray, Department of Education, Global Partnership for Education, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton

No more Homework in Elementary School!

Are you tired of seeing your kids stressed and overwhelmed by homework? My suggestion is to eliminate Homework for Elementary school students. The teachers will teach the subjects and keep reiterating them in class. They work on everything in school as groups and individuals. No Homework gets sent home as they do it all in class and at school. The kids can vote as a class once a month on a subject they all are interested in to be taught about and keep them more interested. This way there is less stress on our children and they won't feel like shutting down, because they don't get to leave school behind and just be kids. Teachers don't have to worry about grading papers they pass the class as a whole so no-one has to feel left behind or like they are failing. It is no surprise why our kids are shutting down, falling behind, stressed, overwhelmed and suffering at school when there is so much expectation and pressure on them. They go to school all day, to come home and then do more of school work is too much. When do they get to be kids, to play, socialize and have quality time with family? How would/do you feel about going to work all day, then to come home and expected to do more work on your time unpaid? When do we get to live and enjoy our lives with our kids and families instead of constant robots? If you felt or thought like me, then please help make this change happen. There have been studies done to support this No Homework petition I am doing. Even other countries are doing this successfully. If we can choose to opt out our kids from state testing why can't we opt them out of homework? If your kid is ahead and enjoys extra work for challenge then by all means if that works for you and your kids your family then do it ask for extra home work, but others should have the choice to no participate in homework if it negatively impacting our kids and families. Take a look at Finland, Denmark, Germany at their educational system. Go look at the different studies that show how much better our kids function at school, at home, in society and their overall happiness is better when given the opportunity to be kids. When the pressure and expectations are taken away in the homework and school aspect to please everyone and meet standards that are not fair or equal. No person is the same so therefore there should be no standard expections of our students to be like one another. To each their own, we all are different independent humans and learn differently, so why are we trying to make our kids all the same at school? When they are in High School it is different, they understand more and are preparing for adulthood so yes I can see keeping and implementing homework at that time, but let's eliminate Homework for Elementary schools.  Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Please help to make this change and sign this petition. 

Dzana Vranac
16 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Allow for LGBTQ Sexual Ed to be Taught at all High Schools in Virginia Beach.

As an LGBTQ student in the Virginia Beach City Public School System, our current curriculum for sexual education does not adequately teach LGBTQ students proper sexual education as it relates to them. This is a form of indirect- discrimination against the LGBTQ community. My goal is to advocate for a brief, 15- 20-minute lesson to all Health and PE classes at Princess Anne Highschool incorporated into the already existing Sexual education.  By signing this petition, you support and demand the VBCPS school board to allow the teaching of LGBTQ sexual education at Princess Anne Highschool in Virginia Beach, Virginia. " No, lesbian gay and bisexual orientations are not disorders, " according to the American Psychological Association. Even with this consensus among mental health professionals, people still question if LGBTQ, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community should be accepted. The answer is quite simple yet many people still do not accept people who identify their sexual orientation as something other than straight, even 2017. I believe LGBTQ people should have the same rights as their straight peers and they should be accepted because they did not choose their sexual orientation and they just want to love who they want to love.          The American Psychological Association has said that to date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy and a person sexual orientation is safe or effective. Throughout Middle School, I had crushes on girl classmates and what I now know where crushes on boys. When I was in 8th grade looking back at the past 3 years of my life I realized I was bisexual. Despite trying to make myself straight out of fear of what my life would be like if I came out, I couldn't deny this part of my life any longer and I began to come out to my friends first and then a couple months later was able to come out to my family. My uncle was able to empathize with me because he himself is gay. This whole experience has taught me to be kind and accepting of others and their differences even if I don't understand them. Therefore I believe that a person sexuality is not a choice and it cannot be changed nor should it be changed even though harmful practices such as conversion therapy a practice aimed at changing one sexual orientation exist. Ellen DeGeneres, a famous TV show host, arguably one of the most influential people when it comes to LGBTQ rights. She is famously married to, Portia DeRossi, an Australian and American actress, and philanthropist. On her show, it always ends by saying be kind to one another. She's preaching kindness and acceptance to everyone regardless of if you are part of the LGBTQ community. Ellen is part of the LGBT community herself but she doesn't let that become the only thing she is known for. She is famous for her unique sense of humor, kindness, and generosity the latter being why I respect her the most. Yes, she sticks up for herself and the LGBT community when needed including to members of the LGBT community, such as Caitlyn Jenner. She isn't just a lesbian celebrity. She is an admirable, highly-regarded person that is kind to those even if they may be unkind to her. Thanks to people like Ellen DeGenerous, members of the LGBTQ community can take a bypass just being seen as a member of the LGBTQ community but instead be seen as much more than that they can be seen as members of the military, doctors,  lawyers, teachers, business owners and maybe one day politicians. When I first saw Ellen Show, care who she like romantically. She was just hilarious! There's so much more work to be done on this topic but I am thankful for the impact improvement I have already seen so it is one of the people I can thank for allowing me to unapologetically exist just as I am and not fear consequences No one in the LGBT community chose to be different in regards to the sexuality nor are they trying to achieve anything but being able to love and not be judged for it; as a matter of fact, this should be a basic right! I will not rest until people realize that sexual orientation is not a choice and LGBTQ people are able to love whoever they want to love without fear of consequence. The only way for the world to change by ordinary citizens and people with a platform defending and advocating for LGBTQ people regardless of their sexual orientation. In addition to this, start a conversation about it, put something on social media supporting LGBTQ rights, and if you want brownie points, volunteer to help elect government officials in any capacity who you know will defend and support LGBTQ people in every aspect. If you don't have time to volunteer then just vote for the person and encourage others to because they support LGBT rights. If you have children, let them know, when you believe they've reached an age where they are mature enough to handle the topic, that it's okay to be gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. If I was told at a young age that is completely normal and natural to be bisexual or gay I would have came out a lot sooner. This positive reinforcement may not seem like much, but I am telling you as a member of the LGBTQ community this could change someone's life. If your child, a family member or friend comes out to you, support them in every way possible and let them know that you're there for them. We're almost in the year 2018. I have to seen for so many years the ignorant and bigoted comments about the LGBTQ community, what it stands for, if sexuality is a choice, or how it makes you horrible person just because you're a little bit different. I am beyond frustrated and out of patience for this type of ignorance to live in the United States of America any longer or in any part of the world for that matter. I understand people have different points of view or they may believe that their religion says it is not okay to be gay or bisexual, and that's fine. You can hold whatever beliefs you choose to believe because I believe that you should have the right to, but that same right that I know that you have is similar to the right I have to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am not just bisexual. I am a person who believes in helping people and I want to become a politician one day because that is the best way I know how to help and make a difference. I am unapologetically proud of who I am regardless of who I like romantically; therefore other people should be proud of who they are regardless of their backgrounds jobs, passions, belief, race, and who they love. In life, you make many choices. One of mine will be will be to fight for the LGBTQ people with the strength, courage, and bravery of a thousand men. - Connor Eppley  

Connor Eppley
822 supporters