Friday, July 29, 2011

Save Our Schools (SOS) Day 2

Before I can talk about Day 2 at the SOS Conference I must first give an update about Day 1. Conferences are always exciting because you are surrounded by like minded folks who share your passion and have resources to share. But at the end you're usually left feeling confused about the next step or overwhelmed with all the work that needs to be done. At the end of yesterday's conference I felt inspired. Each workshop included time to discuss what comes next. How do we keep the movement going was a constant focus of all the discussions. This focus on keeping the fight going is not only inspiring but necessary when working with educators who are often isolated and burnt out. Listening to Jonathan Kozol is great but if we are going to enact real change we must spend time mapping out what comes next. Not only do we take the critical time to plan for the future at the workshops, but the organizers of the conference have planned a Congress meeting on Sunday to give participants an opportunity to plan for what comes next. This commitment to change is what makes the SOS a great event.

Day 2 continues to be rewarding and full of exciting workshops and panel discussions. I'm looking forward to screening tonight's film: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting For Superman. I finally gave in and watched Waiting For Superman last night. Although I knew that the movie was a ploy to attack public schools and teacher unions, I felt compelled to actually watch it so I could fairly critique it. Needless to say I saw no value in a movie about education that only included the voice of 1 teacher! Tonight's rebuttal film will hopefully point out the inaccuracies in the original film and remind participants why we must fight to save our schools.

Day 3 will be our rally and march to the White House to issue our demands. I'll be posting tons of pictures from the rally and trying not to get arrested for any acts of civil disobedience!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Save Our Schools (SOS) Day 1

This weekend defenders of public schools are making their voices heard as they fight to Save Our Schools. Public schools and public education are in danger of being dismantled. Teachers and their unions are under attack, budgets are being slashed, and our students are being left behind. The reasons behind the attack vary from genuine, although misguided, concerns about low test scores and low standards to a belief that public schools are dangerous and must be decimated. Regardless of the reason public schools are under assault and this weekend fed up educators, parents, and students are fighting back.

The event begins with a 2 day conference at American University where renowned educators, teachers, and activists will offer a variety of workshops, panel discussions, and films to participants from around the country. On Saturday 10,000 participants are expected to march from the Ellipse to the White House to issue demands that public schools be saved with equitable funding and an end to high-stakes testing.

I'll be blogging the event all weekend to document the efforts of those who are determined to save our schools! The time has come to fight back against the destruction of public education. Our children deserve a public education that promotes learning over testing and teaching over legislating. Education is not a business and it's time we remove the corporatists from the table and replace them with educators, parents, activists, and students. The time to Save Our Schools is now!

This blog will be published in emPower Magazine.