Organizations Defending Pluralist Modern Public Education

American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004, (212) 549-2500
Membership organization, many local chapters. Interested in the threat to civil liberties posed by aspects of the Religious Right, including school prayer, school vouchers and equal educational and employment opportunity (on the basis of sex, race and national origin).

American Library Association
Intellectual Freedom Committee
50 E. Huron, Chicago, IL 60611, (312) 944-6780
Monitors censorship, school curricula, library protests, legal decisions. Coverage frequently involves local campaigns by religious and political Right. Publishes bimonthly: Newsletter On Intellectual Freedom.

American Federation of Teachers, AFL·CIO
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW - Washington, DC 20001, (202) 879-4400;
The second largest national teachers union has state and big city affiliates and publishes educational reform critiques such as the 1997 Raising Student Achievement: A Resource Guide for Improving Low-Performing Schools.

Americans for Religious Liberty
P.O. Box 6656, Silver Spring, MD 20916, (301)260-2988
Americans for Religious Liberty (ARL) is a nonprofit public interest education organization dedicated to preserving the separation of church and state. Watchdogs the right on a number of issues, and is an expert on the history of school vouchers. Published The Case Against School Vouchers and The Voice of Reason newsletter.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
1816 Jefferson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 466-3234
Membership organization. Several state and local chapters. Monitors the Religious Right and promotes church-state separation. Opposes public funding of parochial schools. Supports religiously neutral public education. Several pamphlets available on church-state topics and packets of articles on the Religious Right in politics and school vouchers. Write for information. Monthly publication: Church and State.

Center For Commercial Free Public Education
1714 Franklin St. Suite 100-306, Oakland CA 94612, (510) 268-1100
Best known for its UNPLUG campaign against Channel One, the highly profitable, in-school school commercial television program founded my media entrepreneur Christopher Whittle. Publishes the quarterly newsletter Not For Sale.

Center for Law and Education
1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 510 Washington, DC 20009, (202)986-3000
The Center for Law and Education (CLE) tracks and reports on federal legislation that affects all students' rights to quality education. CLE helps enable communities to address their own public education problems effectively, with an emphasis on assistance to low-income students and communities.

Designs for Change
6 North Michigan Ave., Suite 1600,Chicago, IL 60602, (312) 857-9292
Designs for Change (DFC) is a twenty-one-year-old, multi-racial, educational research and reform organization which serves as a catalyst for major improvements in the public schools serving the 50 largest cities in the country, with a particular emphasis on Chicago.

Facing History and Ourselves
16 Hurd Road, Brookline, MA 02445, (617) 232-1595
Nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By tracing the historical roots of the events that led to the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. High school curriculum on the Holocaust, slavery, Armenian genocide, and theory of prejudice and violence.

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
130 W. 25th Street, 8th Floor, New York , NY 10001, (212) 633-6700
A national media watch group that offers well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship. FAIR advocates for greater diversity in the press and scrutinizes media practices that marginalize public interest, minority, and dissenting viewpoints. Reports include: How To Be Stupid: The Teachings of Channel One and News for A Captive Audience: The Case Against Channel One. Both are critical looks at the TV news show now seen in the majority of US high schools. Publishes the bi-monthly newsletter EXTRA!.

Freedom To Learn Network
2020 Downyflake Lane, Suite 301A, Allentown, PA 18103
Formed in 1992 in response to widespread attacks on books and programs in local public schools. Supports drug and alcohol programs as well as health, sex and AIDS curricula. "FLN does not endorse all programs but seeks to expose the motives behind challenges...(and) to provide objective information and reveal the tactics of those whose goals are to destroy public education."

Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
121 W. 27th Street, Suite 804, New York, NY 10001 (212) 727-0135
Activist organization dedicated to the safety and well-being of each member of every school community, regardless of sexual orientation. GLSEN works to end homophobia in public schools through changes in policy and thinking. Currently runs a program linking high school student GLBT activists nation-wide. Publishes quarterly newsletter Blackboard.

Intercultural Development Research Association
5835 Callaghan Road, Suite 350, San Antonio, TX 78228, (210) 444-1710
IDRA conducts research and development activities; creates, implements and administers innovative education programs; and provides teacher, administrator, and parent training and technical assistance.

Media Education Foundation
26 Center Street, Northampton, MA 01060 (800) 897-0089
Conducts media research and produces videos, study guides and other resources to support media literacy.

National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE)
1220 L Street NW, Suite 605, Washington, D.C. 20005 (202) 898-1829
The national advocacy and professional organization for bilingual education and its teachers and administrators. Publishes NABE News. NABE's goal is to support the needs of language-minority students in the US and to advocate for a commitment to multicultural education for all students.

National Coalition of Advocates for Students
100 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116, (617) 357-8507
NCAS is a coalition of 14 member organizations that seeks to promote advocacy for authentic educational reform in US public schools through programs and policies that promote equity for America's most vulnerable students.

National Coalition of Education Activists
PO Box 679, Rhinebeck, NY 12572 (914)876-4580
Multiracial organization of parents, teachers, union and community activists, child advocates, and others working for fundamental changes in public education. Publishes quarterly newsletter, Action For Better Schools. Mission: "Building a movement for high quality public schools that serve all children well." Serves as a resource for activists.

National Council of La Raza
1111 19th, NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 785-1670
La Raza's educational activities focus on ensuring that public schools serve Hispanic children and helps them to succeed academically. NCLR's work in education is carried out on both a programmatic and a public policy level - helping its network of affiliates and other community-based organizations run effective education programs and advocating for a public education system that serves Hispanic children equitably.

National Education Association
1201 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 822-7200
Contact for information about resources on combating censorship in schools, school prayer, and privatization of public schools. Published The Real Story Behind `Paycheck Protection', a guide to analyzing the structure of the Right.

Parents for Public Schools (PPS)
PO Box 12807, Jackson, MS 39236-2807
A grassroots organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening public schools in communities throughout America. As a national organization, PPS is committed to restoring and sustaining constructive parent involvement and advocating community-wide support of public education.

Parent Press
See Parents for Public Schools.

People for the American Way
2000 M Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 467-4999
Write for a current list of background reports. Has several reports and press releases including: Attacks on the Freedom to Learn; Values, Pluralism, and Public Education: A National Conference; Education and the First Amendment: The Appeal to History; and Hate in the Ivory Tower: A Survey of Intolerance on College Campuses and Academia's Response. Newsletter: Right-Wing Watch, 10 issues yearly; special education newsletter: Education Activist.

The Public Education Network
601 13th Street, N.W. Suite 900 North, Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 628-7460
PEN works to educate the nation about the relationship between school quality and the quality of community and public life. PEN members believe that equal opportunity, access to quality public schools, and an informed citizenry are all critical components of a democratic society. Among other projects, it supports local education funds (LEFs), tax-exempt, nonprofit, community-based organizations that work to improve student achievement for all children attending public schools.

Rethinking Schools
1001 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212, (414) 964-9646
A nonprofit, independent newspaper advocating the reform of elementary and secondary public schools. Emphasis on urban schools and issues of equity and social justice. Stresses a grassroots perspective combining theory and practice and linking classroom issues to broader policy concerns. Published quarterly. Excellent resource for all issues related to public education.

Southern Institute For Education and Research
Tulane University, MR Box 1692, 31 McAlister Drive, New Orleans, LA 70118-5555,
(504) 865-6100
Curriculum development and training through the Teacher Education Program. Provides resources for teaching about the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Offers anti-bias training for teachers, consultations, site-visits, film and video program, speaker's bureau, and study guides and teaching materials.

Sexuality Education

Parents (and others) United for Responsible Policies on Sexuality Education (PURPOSE)
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, 1055 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, (617) 616-1660
A statewide campaign to bring together community members interested in developing and maintaining high-quality sexuality education in public schools. Provides information and technical assistance needed to challenge opposition. Resources include the Massachusetts Advocacy Kit.

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
130 West 42nd Street, Suite 2500, New York, NY 10036, (212) 819-9770
Develops, collects, and disseminates information and promotes comprehensive education about sexuality. Publishes Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Grades K-12. Provides program consultation and assistance to communities. Publishes bimonthly newsletter, SIECUS Report.

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