public education

24 petitions

Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Renee Wachter

Opposition for the Suspension of Major and Minor Programs at UW-Superior

Many students at the University of Wisconsin Superior are outraged at the recent decision to suspend 9 majors, 15 minors and 1 masters program, as well as put 15 other programs on warning. Students and faculty were not consulted about this decision that was announced October 31st. From this policy's announcement date, no students will be allowed to enroll in the suspended programs. The school has stated that this is not for budgetary reasons. But claim instead that majors/minors must be cut because it makes decisions harder for first generation students. This claim is insulting, and the research cited as evidence is not applicable this University's situation. This statement also implies that the majors on this list would be the wrong decisions for first generation students. This decision also goes against the liberal arts principles on which the University was founded. This policy is not in the best interest of students, faculty, or the University as a whole. More importantly, there was no forum for input from students or faculty before this decision was made. PROGRAMS AFFECTED: Suspended (Graduate Programs) Masters in Art Therapy Suspended (Majors/Concentrations)   Broad Field Science  Broad Field Science (Teaching)  Chemistry: Forensic   Communicating Arts: Journalism  Communicating Arts: Media  Political Science   Sociology  Theatre  Visual Arts: Art History   Suspended (Minors)  Computer Science   Computer Science (Teaching)  Earth Science   Geography   Geography (Teaching)  Global Studies   Health and Human Performance  History (Teaching)  Journalism   Legal Studies  Media Communication   Photography   Physics  Physics (Teaching)  Psychology (Teaching)  PROGRAMS ON WARNING: Warning (Major Programs) Broad Field Social Science Broad Field Social Science (teaching)Chemistry Chemistry (teaching)Computer science EconomicsHistoryHistory (teaching)Mathematics Mathematics (teaching) Warning (Minor Programs) Biology (teaching)Chemistry (teaching)EnglishEnglish (teaching)Mathematics (teaching) The programs cut have little rhyme or reason. For example, the global studies minor on this list costs almost nothing and is a very popular program, whereas gender studies, which also costs nothing but has half the participants isn’t on this list. I am not advocating that either should be cancelled but rather that these choices seem arbitrary and not dictated by student’s desires. Granted, it was stated that this was not for budgetary reasons. In that case, it must be for the students. The implications of this policy are far reaching and will affect the overall quality of the education UW-Superior has to offer. Please sign this petition if you do not approve of this policy and its implementation.

Sydney Kloster
5,482 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Austin Independent School District, Ascension by Seton Healthcare

Bring Nurses Back to Austin ISD Elementary Schools

Since returning to school this fall, AISD (Austin Independent School District) parents and students discovered there had been an extreme change to nursing staff. In an apparent effort to save money, AISD has removed Registered Nurses from campuses replacing them with SHAs (Student Health Advisers) connected via computer terminal and video chat to a Registered Nurse. This leaves a deficit in knowledge, capability and care for our students, including medically fragile students. Students with chronic conditions (as many as 27% of school-age children**) such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, seizure disorders, severe allergies and medication needs are now being managed by school staff without appropriate credentials. A SHA only needs to have a high school diploma and 6 months medical training. This is very unsafe policy change and the children of Austin deserve better. We are fighting for our students and demand that a ratio* of 1 Registered Nurse to a maximum of 750 students be restored. When students are healthy, attendance is up, academic success is up. When students are well cared for, unnecessary strains aren’t added to our city’s health infrastructure, parents take less unpaid leave and lastly a school district’s liability lessens. This change is particularly damaging to the elementary school population which it affects the most. Children as young as 4 and up to age 12 attend AISD elementary schools. Many children in this age group may not be able to adequately voice their health concerns. One child’s “ear itch” is an ear infection and another’s is the beginning of a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction requiring immediate medical action. Video conferencing an actual Registered Nurse may cost valuable minutes that could dangerously change the result in an emergency situation. A SHA simply does not have the experience necessary to make these often life-changing decisions. All stakeholders: parents, students, and teachers win when schools have adequate coverage with certified school nurses. Sick and injured children are cared for. Teachers can teach when a student gets sick. Parents don't get called to school unnecessarily, 911 system is not abused wasting taxpayer dollars. Hospital emergency departments are not unduly burdened. Please consider signing this petition to bring AISD to the recommended Registered Nurse to student ratio*.  *This ratio followed the recommendation of National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  **2014 CDC Study: Results from the School Health Policies and Practices Study 2014; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Chronic Care: Making the Case for Ongoing Care  

Kelly Tarun
1,804 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Philadelphia School District, Danielle Floyd, Francine Locke, Superintendent Hite, Asst. Superintendent Sonya Harrison

Fix Health and Safety Hazards at McCall Elementary

We, the parents, teachers, and community members of McCall Elementary School in Philadelphia request urgent attention and transparency regarding poor environmental, health, and safety conditions at our school. According to the Facility Condition Assessment Summary Report released by the school district in January 2017, McCall was given an FCI rating of 57%, with 60% being the benchmark for building closure or replacement. We are aware that since the time that the assessment was conducted, that there have been repairs to the electrical system as well as the work that is currently being done on the exterior of the school.  Though this work may have taken the percentage down several points, we remain deeply concerned about several outstanding items that may be hazardous to the health and safety of all McCall students and faculty. 1)McCall’s roof is given a 90% FCI, which leads us to believe there may be significant leaks which could affect the interior condition, leading to mold and lead paint deterioration. According to the Capital Budget for 2017-2022, there is no further money earmarked for McCall, including the roof that is listed with an urgent response time of 4-5 years. 2) The FCI of the heating units is currently well over 100% and with good reason. The antiquated unit ventilators are a major concern for both the comfort of students and teachers to be in an environment that is conducive to learning. Some of the rooms are extraordinarily hot during the winter and there is no way to control the room temperature. Furthermore, there is no fresh air able to come through the ventilators in their current condition. We have wildly uncontrolled heating, that beyond discomfort and poor learning conditions can affect the structural safety of the building. High humidity or excessive drying from a heating system like this can impact the deterioration of lead paint and asbestos.  3) The FCI assessment shows clear photographic evidence of mold on the basement walls. We have also heard anecdotal evidence from teachers stating that after black mold was discovered in their classrooms it was simply “painted over.” 4) We have seen firsthand the need for plumbing renovations, with children complaining of constantly overflowed toilets, toilets covered with garbage bags, and poorly working exhaust fans. The bathrooms are in a constant state of maintenance and poor use. The bathrooms closest to the lunchroom, specifically, are nonfunctional and students are not allowed to use them for bathroom purposes and yet the kids are not permitted to walk all the way to the nearest functioning bathrooms alone but no personnel are provided to walk them there, leading to accidents, discomfort, and embarrassment.  5)The school building is not covered by an automatic sprinkler system.  The sprinkler issue was labeled a “life hazard” concern with a priority rating of 1, meaning it was supposed to have been fixed in 1-2 years from August 2015, a timeline which they have failed to meet that places our children at risk.  6) The basement floor is not equipped with a hydration station and that floor holds kindergarten classrooms with no access to clean water. Old fountains were shut down (thankfully) after lead testing but have not been replaced.  We understand that there have been various environmental inspections including one in early August but parents, teachers, and other stakeholders have no means to review this information. We understand that more than 40 deficiencies were identified including flaking lead paint, damaged heating system components, and leaking water damage. We have no way of knowing if and when these items will be repaired. The FCI assessments were a good first step. Unfortunately, it does not allow the stakeholders to see if there has been any prioritizing made for repairing these conditions. What would be helpful is a transparent and publicly available breakdown of what the most critical repairs are across the district and a timeline for each of these repairs. Parents and teachers have no way of knowing the actual hazard from each of these issues. However, we can only assume the worst based on historically terrible conditions that have yielded national attention. We believe that all Philadelphia public school stakeholders have the right to transparent information and timely answers. We simply must find a way to make these repairs a financial priority and earmark more money towards these repairs. We want to work with the district and support the district but we need faster responses, transparent information, and accountability from our school district. That is the only way we can repair public education. As parents and teachers, we have chosen to stay and fight for the schools we love and believe in. But the district continues to completely ignore emails from parents or respond after exorbitantly long amounts of time with insufficient answers. We are here to do any work we can to help with these efforts. We look forward to your response. Mandarin Translation: Dear Families at McCall and other Philadelphia schools, 亲爱的麦考尔和其他费城学校的家长们, Our names are Anna Perng and Mandy Lin. We urge you to sign this petition, which describes the terrible conditions in our public schools. 我们的名字是彭安娜和林曼青。我们敦促你签署这份请愿书,这是描述我们公立学校的恶劣条件。 McCall's roof is falling apart. When it rains, water comes from the ceiling. Our bathrooms are always out of order. In the winter, it gets too hot in the classrooms. The heat can create health problems with lead and asbestos, a cancer-causing substance. 麦考尔学校的屋顶正在分崩掉落。下雨时,水会从天花板落下来。我们的洗手间总是有故障。在冬天,我们的教室温度太热了。在高温下铅和石棉(一种致癌物质)会导致健康问题。 By signing this petition, you are asking our School District to take action to fix problems at McCall and other schools. This is not a criticism of your principals or your teachers. Rather, by signing this petition, you are standing with them and asking for repairs for the safety and health of all.通过签署这个请愿书,你要求我们的学区采取行动来解决McCall和其他学校的问题。这不是批评你的校长或老师。相反,通过签署这一请愿书, 您正在与他们站在一起,并要求对所有人的安全和健康进行维修。 Thank you,Anna Perng & Mandy Lin谢谢,彭安娜 & 林曼青

Paige Wolf
1,041 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Madison Board of Education

Madison Public Schools are Facing a Major Change - so let's take a pause.

The Madison Board of Education (BOE) is planning to vote on a MAJOR CHANGE for our schools on October 17, 2017. The result of this vote will significantly impact ALL THREE of the town's elementary and BOTH middle schools. We want the Board of Education to hit "PAUSE" before making this critical decision about the future of our schools. On November 7, there is a town election, and after that vote, there will be new people joining the Board of Education and a change in the chair of the board. We are asking the BOE to hold off on the vote of whether or not to close Island Avenue School until the town is presented with a fully-vetted and well-communicated plan. We need to know more about how the closing of Island and repair of Jeffery and Ryerson will be completed and financed. The decision to close Island Avenue School directly impacts the families of Brown and Polson as well, and we feel it is only fair that our newly elected members of the Board of Education give this significant decision more consideration. This petition is NONPARTISAN; we are simply asking the BOE to hold off on the vote. The decision on whether or not to close Island Avenue will have a direct impact on the future of ALL students of Madison's Public Schools (especially Jeffrey, Ryerson, Island Avenue, Brown, and Polson). It is in our town's best interest to come to a joint understanding about the future of our schools. Many residents have expressed concerns and asked questions about the next steps. Here are just some of the questions: After the upcoming election (on November 7), there will be a new Board of Ed chairperson and, likely, new members on the board. Those people will inherit the task of imposing whatever decision is made if the vote is not postponed, whether they agree with it or not. Why put them in that position? Parents, residents, teachers, and students are confused about how the closure of Island Avenue will affect the student populations in our town's other schools. How much will it cost tax-payers to close down one school and make updates to the other elementary schools? How will class sizes be affected by the redistricting process? What will happen to the teachers, administrators, and staff at our current schools? How will this impact morale? When would the necessary repairs be made to the existing schools? How much will they cost? What is the time-frame for completion of those projects and how will students be accommodated during that process? Our town already has one abandoned school building (Academy - 15 years ago). What are the implications of having two abandoned school buildings in our small town? How will new grade distributions in the middle schools (putting grades 6,7, and 8 into one building) affect the cultures of Brown and Polson? Are these changes a reflection of sound educational practices? Has all the necessary due diligence been completed to make an informed and prudent decision? School renovation projects and redistricting efforts are complicated, time-intensive, and involved processes. Given the complex issues and important decisions at stake, which will impact every town resident, we are asking the BOE to take a little time to PAUSE, as the town is still reeling from the results of the recent referendum, and emotions are high. We request that the Board of Education delay the vote on the decision to close Island Avenue until after the elections on November 7.  Please join us. After signing, please spread the word.  A little more information about the Board of Education: Current Madison, CT Board of Education Members:Jean Fitzgerald (Chair)**Jessica Bowler* Galen CawleyJohn DeanAlison Keating*Matt Keller Seth Klaskin Happy Marino Katie Stein *denotes up for reelection in November**leaving BOE but running for Board of Finance in November Candidates for 2017 Board of EducationFive of the following to be selected; not more than 3 from one party:Michael Abbondandolo (G)Kirk Barneby (R)Jessica Bowler (R)Alison Keating (D)Violet McNerney (R)Matt Parthasarthy (D)Emily Rosenthal (D)    

Kristen Rosecrans Powers
267 supporters