The Network for Public Education Action Fund released this statement, just minutes ago:

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2016

Media Contact:
Carol Burris 718-577-3276

The Network for Public Education Action Calls Upon the Democratic Party to Include a Pro-Public Education Agenda in its Platform Statement.

In response to the Democratic Party’s request for platform input, forty-six national and local grassroots groups join the Network for Public Education Action in its petition that five pro-public education principles be included in the party platform. The allied groups are united in their opposition to the privatization of public schools, which has been enabled by both political parties.

A corresponding statement will also be sent to the Republican Party.

New York, New York– Today, the Network for Public Education Action (NPE Action), a national nonprofit 501(c) (4) education advocacy organization with 22,000 supporters, released Strengthening K-12 Education: A Submission to the Democratic Party for the 2016 Platform.

The seven-page statement supports and expands upon the following five principles that the group, led by Diane Ravitch, wants included in the party platform:

1. Eliminate High Stakes Testing.

2. Support Policies that Close the Opportunity Gap

3. Fully Fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

4. Protect Student Privacy

5. Adopt Federal Spending Policies that Support Public Education and Oppose Public School Privatization

NPE Action co-founder, Anthony Cody, explained why it is so important that the platform include renewed support for public schools during a time when school privatization is growing at an alarming rate. “The next four years will determine the fate of public education in America. This platform offers Democrats the chance to stand with educators, parents and students who want real change — a shift away from high stakes tests and privatization, and towards democratically controlled schools that educate the whole child. Federal spending must go to support true public schools governed by communities, not to charter chains, vouchers and for-profit schools.”

The Network for Public Education Action’s submission has received wide support. Forty-six national and local grassroots groups are co-signers. These groups include The Alliance for Quality Education, Journey for Justice, The Badass Teachers Association, Fairtest, The Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, Defending Early Years, and Parents Across America. A complete list of the forty-six can be found here.

NPEAction director and Florida public school advocate, Colleen Wood, explained the statement’s appeal. “Grassroots groups across the nation that support public education have signed on with Network for Public Education Action to send a clear message to both parties that the era of high-stakes testing and attacks on public schools must come to an end.”

NPE Action’s President and co-founder, Diane Ravitch, is hopeful that the Democratic Party will strongly consider the statement when building the platform and turn away from its recent support for school privatization and high-stakes testing.

“The Network for Public Education hopes the Democratic Party platform will take a strong stand in favor of democratically controlled public schools and against privatization of public education and high-stakes testing. Opposition to private control of public money is aligned with the historic values of the Democratic party.”

In addition to the 46 groups, thousands of public school advocates have signed the statement in support. The entire statement to the Democratic Party can be found here and the statement to the Republican Party can be found here.

The Network for Public Education Action is a non-profit advocacy group whose mission is to preserve, promote, improve and strengthen public schools for both current and future generations of students.