Petition to Ohio State Senate, Ohio State House
Ohio lawmakers: Set healthy school start times.
Because of changes in sleep that occur during puberty, health experts recommend that middle and high schools start after 8:30am. School start times before 8:30am for adolescents are associated with chronic insufficient sleep - and chronic sleep loss is associated with increased car crashes, increased sports injuries, obesity, diabetes, depression, substance abuse, suicide, poorer learning, and more. Wake times of 6am for adolescents are biochemically equivalent to wake times of 3am for adults. Some groups that have called for later school start times include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Association of School Nurses, the Society of Pediatric Nurses, the American Thoracic Society, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Education Association, the Education Commission of the States, the Ohio Adolescent Health Partnership, the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and other health, education, and safety experts. Unfortunately change among individual schools in Ohio is complicated due to state-level mandates related to transportation. Local school officials want to act on the research, but they are limited by the schedules set by neighboring local, STEM, charter, private, and vocational schools. The solution is for the state legislature to set healthy parameters that all Ohio schools must follow – this helps our schools and, more importantly, helps protect the health and safety of Ohio children. Sign and share this petition asking Ohio state lawmakers to pass legislation that sets 8:30am as the earliest start time for middle and high schools, and 8am as the earliest start time elementary schools. (No child in Ohio, regardless of age, should walk to school or a bus stop in the 5 and 6 o’clock hours.) More information about the research and the science of adolescent sleep can be found on the following websites: www.StartSchoolLater.net, www.OhioAdolescentHealth.org, and www.SchoolStartTime.org.
Petition to Lance Gooden, Ken King, Linda Koop, Gary VanDeaver, Joe Deshotel
Pass the Tim Tebow Bill
Currently, home school students in Texas may not participate in University Interscholastic League (UIL) activities even though parents pay property taxes that go to fund the schools. The Tim Tebow bill, which is being proposed in the Texas Legislature this year, would fix this discrimination and allow home schoolers to try out for UIL activities. The majority of states in the country have legislation like this, and it has proved very beneficial, and not at all detrimental, for home schoolers across the nation. This is especially beneficial for many rural home school families who would greatly benefit from UIL participation, but also for any home schoolers in the state who wanted to participate in UIL extracurricular programs. Home school families ought to be free to participate in a program that is funded by home schoolers' taxpayer dollars. If you want to support equal access for home schoolers, sign this petition, and call your state representative and senator regularly to tell them that this matters to you! The only way we'll get this passed is if we, the people, make our voice heard! Go here to find out who represents you, and how to contact them: www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Address.aspx"
Petition to Superintendent Steve Lockard, FCPS School Board, FCPS Board of Supervisors
FCPS: Save AAP Centers (and save bus transportation to Centers)
The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Budget Task Force is recommending eliminating AAP Center Schools. Technically, they recommend eliminating bus service to all AAP Center schools (gifted and talented magnet schools) at both the elementary and middle school level (grades 3-8) and instead replacing them with “Local Level IV” services (LLIV). What this means in plain English is that students will no longer have a choice to go to a gifted magnet or center school, but rather, will be forced to stay in their local or "base" school, unless they can secure their own transportation. And it is only a matter of time, once there is no transportation, to close the doors on all AAP Center Schools. FCPS says that they will instead create gifted programs in every local school, so they claim no one will be adversely affected. But AAP Center Schools and Local Level IV base programs are NOT equal. FCPS may also use positive spin terminology like “creating a Center in every school” – which sounds good in theory – but in reality means simply that everyone has to stay at their local school, so there is no longer a choice to go to a “true” Center school - one that brings in AAP kids from multiple schools. The local schools will not have the same resources nor the same size peer group. This may end up being a form of discrimination, as students in the poorest schools are likely to be most severely impacted. AAP Centers and LLIV (base) schools are not all equal. Here’s why: · Resources. Do we really believe the gifted programs at the poorest schools, in the poorest neighborhoods, will be as good as the gifted programs in the wealthy schools, in the wealthy neighborhoods? Some schools have wealthier families, with wealthier PTAs donating more resources. Some schools have more stay at home parents, with more time to volunteer at the school. As a result, some schools have many, many more opportunities for enrichment and clubs, like chess club, debate, model UN, robotics, science fairs, math Olympiads, etc., etc. These are activities that AAP kids need to thrive. If FCPS truly believes all Lev el IV Schools in the County are equal, then why not continue to offer the choice and see how many students voluntarily elect to stay at their local school, versus how many opt to take the bus to the AAP Center school, with more resources? If the two are truly equal, then FCPS would not be saving any money with this proposal, because everyone would choose to stay in their local school anyway. · Peer Groups / "Critical Mass". Peer group or “critical mass” of like-minded students is important. Even if you assume two different schools, one Local Level IV and one AAP Center school, can be equal in terms of quality, the number of AAP qualified kids in the school also matters. Imagine a situation where the LLIV program has only 3 or 4 AAP qualified kids, but the AAP Center, which brings AAP kids from multiple schools, might have two or three CLASSROOMS full of AAP students. Anyone with an AAP kid knows that they might feel like a “nerd” or outcast when they are in the minority. But at the AAP Center school, where most kids are like them, they “fit in” and thrive. This is important not only socially and psychologically (for self confidence), but also academically. When they don’t fit in, they will stop “acting smart” and will start trying to fit in by not standing out academically. In a Center school the peer group pushes each other academically, so they all strive to achieve more. Studies show peer groups matter. Students in Local Level IV schools with small "cohorts" will be disadvantaged. This proposal is discrimination, plain and simple. The poor and the minorities will be disproportionately disadvantaged by this change for two reasons – first, because the poorest schools with the most minorities will be disproportionately affected, and second because the wealthiest families will be most able to secure transportation to keep their options open. Sign on to this petition if you want to tell FGCPS (the Superintendent, the Board of Supervisors and the School Board) that AAP Centers and Local Level IV AAP Programs are NOT equal, and that AAP Centers should be preserved, along with the right to take a bus to the AAP Center near you.
Petition to Barrington School Committee
Protest the vote regarding the new school start times
The school committee recently voted 3-2 in favor of changing the school start times. This later time is extremely costly and there are many concerns about where the money will come from to support this change. There are also many unanswered questions regarding school activities and how they will be affected. We feel this decision was made without addressing the many concerns of students, teachers and residents of Barrington. The School Committee has taken an extreme measure without giving voice to the community at large. We are asking you to join us in requesting the School Committee respond to our concerns by signing . Decisions affecting our children concern all of us. Please consider signing so that the many unanswered questions surrounding this issue can be further discussed.
Petition to Department of Education
K-12 Environmental Education
No matter your race, gender, ethnicity, or background, we are all recipients of earth’s benefits. Lucky for us, we have been able to use the resources that this glorious earth supplies to us. However, over the years, as a human race we’ve gotten used to all of these natural resources at our fingertips, and this earth is being stripped of its valuable possessions more and more each passing day. Forests are being depleted by the second, oil is being sucked from the ground, the ozone layer is diminishing, our oceans are being littered with trash…. But what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if our education system can make a difference? What if we were all taught from a young age the importance of caring for our planet and why we should do everything in our power to help preserve it? That is why I believe that everyone should have to go through a baseline environmental education class in high school.
Petition to WW-P Board of Education
SAVE OUR WW-P SCHOOLS
To West Windsor and Plainsboro NJ residents only: The WW-P school district was created in 1969 and has been one of the top achieving districts in New Jersey, through the hard work of many generations of teachers, administrators and students. In July 2013, WW-P appointed a new superintendent. Since then, this new administration has been making significant changes to the school system. Unfortunately those changes were made without adequate input and debate, or even before the public knew. Excellent programs are being cut and fantastic teachers are leaving. This first rate school district is in dire danger of being decimated by these single-minded changes. All residents are urged to wake up and stop the changes. We all agree that there should be efforts to reduce stress and bullying, and nurture the whole child. It’s very important that parents, teachers and school counselors work on this all the time. There are positive ways to address the whole child without reducing the rigor and the full array of our programs. WW-P should keep the same high academic standards it has always had. Here are some quick notes on this petition: 1. Reinstate midyear and final exams. (The cancellation was suddenly announced by an email from the superintendent on Aug 27, 2015, just before school started.) 2. Restore A&E Math for grades 4 and 5. (The board voted to eliminate it on 12/15/2015. This is the one part of elementary math that works beautifully and it had been in place for 45 years. There was no reason to cut a class that everyone loves. A math workshop plan was approved. The famed math and science excellence of our schools is in decline and our kids’ education will be greatly impacted.) 3. Let our music teachers decide how to teach music. (Instrumental teachers are being banned from teaching by their decades-long effective method. Our exquisite music program is a star of our school system. Don't fix what is not broken.) 4. Lower our taxes by reducing the number of resource teachers, supervisors, administrators. (As of now, WW-P has 30 Directors/Supervisors, plus superintendents, assistant superintendents and their many assistants. The superintendent has recently hired extra resource teachers for every building.) 5. Do not spend taxpayer money on offices. (In 2014-2015, $13 million was spent for Village School expansion, which is housing the administrators with luxury offices/conference rooms.)
Petition to Fairfax County School Board
Rename J.E.B. Stuart High School after Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
We have been friends since 8th grade in Fairfax County, Virginia, and attended J.E.B. Stuart High School. When our school was founded in 1959, it was named after Stuart, a Confederate General, to protest the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling that ended the segregation of public schools. Today, this school is attended by a diverse group of students who should not have to attend a school that bears the name of a man who fought to keep African Americans enslaved. So we're calling on the Fairfax County School Board to rename it Thurgood Marshall High School. Not only was Marshall the first African American Supreme Court Justice and a civil rights leader, he was our neighbor and a member of our community. When we were at J.E.B. Stuart in the late ’70’s, the school symbol was Stuart riding a horse and waving the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag was at the center of our basketball court and on our athletic letter jackets and wasn’t removed until 2001--but the symbol of Stuart on a horse waving a flag (now solid blue) remains. No one should have to apologize for the name of the public high school you attended and the history of racism it represents, as we and so many alumni of Stuart have felt the need to do our whole lives. The killings of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist who proudly flew and wore the Confederate battle flag was a tragic reminder of how these symbols of hate continue to fuel racism and violence. And it’s sparked a national conversation about the appropriateness of honoring the Confederacy, especially in institutions of learning. Renaming schools is not an uncommon practice. In fact, in 2013 a father in Jacksonville, Florida launched a successful petition on Change.org to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. Forrest was a Confederate General and leader of the Ku Klux Klan. We have the support of many current students, represented by Students for Change, and former students, represented by Alumni for Change, as well as the Fairfax County NAACP and People Demanding Action. It’s time to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School.Please sign our petition to help us honor a true leader and hero by creating Thurgood Marshall High School. Bruce Cohen is an Academy Award-winning producer of film, television and theater. Bruce won the Best Picture Oscar for producing AMERICAN BEAUTY in 1999. He earned additional Best Picture nominations for MILK (2008) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012). He was nominated for an Emmy for producing the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2010. Bruce has always been passionate about promoting fairness and equality. He graduated from J.E.B. Stuart in 1979. Julianne Moore is an Academy Award-winning actress, who won the Best Actress Oscar this year, as well as the Golden Globe and the SAG Award, for STILL ALICE. She earned four additional Oscar nominations for Best Actress in THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1999) and FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002) and Best Supporting Actress in BOOGIE NGHTS (1997) and THE HOURS (2002). Julianne works diligently to effect change for many causes that are close to her heart. She attended J.E.B. Stuart from 1975-77.