Every child deserves a great education. Our mission is to provide every child with the same great educational opportunities we would want for our own children: locally controlled, fully-funded, free public schools unfettered by corporate interests; professionally educated teachers; and child-centered – not test-centered – curriculum.
In September of 2009, Debby Mayer created Great Schools for America to give educators access to education jobs and to promote quality schools. Soon colleagues Judy Eustice and Hazel Tribble joined her effort to advocate for quality public schools, free from corporate control. Between the three of them they have 100 years of teaching experience and firmly believe that all children, especially those in under-served communities, deserve great teachers and excellent educational opportunities.
During the past decade education in America has been defined predominantly by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Its policies have been disastrous for public schools, educators, and children. Its proponents prefer high-stakes testing, minimally qualified pseudo-teachers, data driven assessment systems, and punishment for teachers as well as their students who do not do well on standardized tests. The effect of this policy has been to label many of our public schools as failures, many of our teachers as incompetent, and many of our students as drop-outs. We believe that hiring non-teachers in the place of professionally trained teachers cheats our most vulnerable children out of a great education.
The response to these problems has been to take giant steps toward national standards, a national curriculum, and a national standardized test. The process has been jettisoned by the creation of many corporate run charter school networks. This proliferation of charter management organizations (CMOs) is cause for concern. As multi-billionaires stake out an interest in our public schools and exert their influence over our teachers and children, we should ask: Who owns our public charter schools? Who staffs the schools? Who sets the curriculum? Are teachers and students protected by public school law? Will corporate charter schools continue to be tuition-free? Are CMOs being given preferential funding over stand-alone public schools? These questions deserve our attention.
What We Do
Great Schools for America supports four primary initiatives: Great Teachers, Great Programs, Great Projects, and Great Facilities. Currently, we are addressing the problem of placing inadequately trained teachers in some of our poorest schools. This year Teach for America is accepting applications from licensed teachers. We encourage teachers to apply because every child deserves a teacher who is fully trained and aspires to stay in the profession.