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Leonie Haimson
Leonie Haimson is a parent advocate and Executive Director of Class Size Matters, as well as the founder of the NYC Public School Parent blog. She is also one of the founders of Parents Across America, and an editor of a book, NYC Schools Under Bloomberg/Klein: What Parents, Teachers and Policymakers Need to Know available at

Entries by Leonie Haimson

The Reality and the Hype Behind Online Learning and the 'School of One'

(5) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 12:22 PM

The Daily News has a story about a new negative evaluation of DOE's much vaunted "School of One" program. This study, which found no significant achievement gains from the program, was quietly placed on the Research Alliance website in the middle of summer with no apparent...

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FAQ on the Controversial Film Won't Back Down: What Parents Need to Know

(38) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 7:00 PM

I'm hearing there's a lot of controversy about the movie Won't Back Down. Why?

Many people believe the film promotes the privatization of public education and inflames a political climate in which teachers are unjustly disparaged and blamed for the effects of poverty and educational inequity.

What is the movie...

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Will Our Federal Government Renounce Their Proposal to Increase Class Size?

(8) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 12:17 PM

The Obama administration has proposed that in next year's education budget, 25 percent of the funds to reduce class size or keep teachers on staff be diverted to a competitive grant program to create and expand "new pathways" to teaching -- e.g. to help fund organizations like Teach For...

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Confidential Student And Teacher Data To Be Provided To LLC Run By Gates and Murdoch

(6) Comments | Posted December 19, 2011 | 12:10 PM

This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the NY Board of Regents approved the state's sharing of student and teacher information with a new national database, to be funded by the Gates Foundation, and designed by News Corp's Wireless Generation. Other states that have already agreed to share this...

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Obama's Speech to Congress: So Why Am I Skeptical?

(7) Comments | Posted September 11, 2011 | 9:40 PM

Obama's speech last week to Congress has been described as a "wake up call" -- with its aggressive and ambitious proposals to boost spending on education -- including $30 billion to avoid further teacher layoffs, and $30 billion more to renovate school facilities. These funds that are desperately...

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Gates, In Alliance with Murdoch's News Corp, Builds a New App for Corporate Education Reform?

(10) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 12:21 PM

On Aug. 3, Vicki Phillips of the the Gates Foundation announced the creation of an "amazing" new software program that will be like a "huge app store -- just for teachers -- with the Netflix and Facebook capabilities we love the most."

"There are few times in life when...

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Why Do Politicians Blow Up When Asked Where They Send Their Own Kids to School?

(61) Comments | Posted July 21, 2011 | 7:30 PM

Rahm Emanuel, the new Mayor of Chicago, walks out of an NBC interview when asked when asked what school he intends to enroll his children in. He intones: "My children are not an instrument of me being mayor." But everyone else's children are. Check out the video here and...

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The Widening Murdoch Scandal and the Wireless No-Bid Contracts

(9) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 3:02 PM

A widening scandal envelopes Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, revealing how his employees in the UK hacked into the cell phones of murder victims, paid off policemen, and may have even stolen the medical records of the former Prime Minister's newborn son. What is indisputable is that his papers used

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Class Bias, Class Size and Online Learning

(31) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 2:00 PM

It's not enough that school districts across the country are laying off teachers right and left and increasing class size to intolerable levels. It seems that the D.C. think tanks are absolutely dedicated towards further encouraging this trend and destroying any efforts to retain equitable class sizes in our public...

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Teachers, We Honor and Respect You!

(3) Comments | Posted May 3, 2011 | 4:17 PM

It's teacher appreciation week; and in a letter in EdWeek published Monday, Arne Duncan attempts to convince teachers that his policies actually reflect respect towards their profession. Sabrina Shupe Stevens provides the perfect rejoinder:

Actions speak louder than words. Though you often have nice words to say about...
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More Clap Trap on Class Size From the Gates-funded CAP

(3) Comments | Posted April 18, 2011 | 1:22 PM

Last week, the Center for American Progress released a report by Matthew Chingos, who previously wrote a highly-flawed critique of Florida's class size reduction program. (See my recent debate with Chingos on CNN.)

CAP has put out a series of crude reports posing as educational research,...

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Obama and Duncan on South Korea: What Can They Be Thinking?

(7) Comments | Posted April 7, 2011 | 6:40 PM

South Korean students get high marks on the international competitions like the PISAs. In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said we should emulate its educational system.

Arne Duncan has repeatedly extolled South Korea as well, arguing that parents in the United States should demand the...

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Letter to the Lawrence, Kan. School Board

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2011 | 12:55 PM

On Monday night, the Lawrence school board is going to vote on consolidating elementary schools, which is expected to lead to increases in class size. Many school boards and states throughout the country are wrestling with the same decision, because of budget pressures. At the request of a parent in...

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Chris Cerf, There You Go Again!

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2011 | 12:04 PM

This morning featured an extended story in the New Jersey Star Ledger examining Chris Cerf, and his record as deputy chancellor of NYC schools. Cerf has been appointed acting New Jersey commissioner of education by Gov. Christie, and is intent on implementing many of the same divisive policies that...

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In the World of Corporate Ed Reform, Failure Is no Impediment to Success

(8) Comments | Posted March 11, 2011 | 2:11 PM

Mayor Bloomberg Booed and Excoriated for his Proposed Teacher Layoffs and Attacks on Seniority Protections

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2011 | 5:00 PM

This Week the Real Reformers Finally Broke Through!

(6) Comments | Posted March 4, 2011 | 3:29 PM

Fox News Debate on Public Sector Unions

(2) Comments | Posted March 1, 2011 | 8:23 PM

Check out my debate on Fox News today on a "power panel" with Steven Malanga of the right wing Manhattan Institute and Tracy Byrnes, Fox business correspondent.

My favorite moment was when Malanga said he didn't feel "oppressed" by not being a member of a union.

My least favorite?...

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Arne Duncan and Bill Gates -- Dumb and Dumber

(16) Comments | Posted February 28, 2011 | 9:52 AM

On Saturday, Arne Duncan warned governors about "dumb" education cuts and then suggested even dumber cuts, like increasing class size:

"Duncan also said that states should think selectively about increasing class sizes. The father of two grade-school-age children said he'd rather his kids be in a bigger class...

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Parents Across America Say Enough Is Enough!

(7) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 2:59 PM

Parent advocates from across the country converged Monday, Feb. 7 on New York City for the first national forum of Parents Across America, a parent-led movement aimed at making parent voices heard in the national debate over education reform and promoting positive, common-sense solutions that will improve public...

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