A grassroots movement dedicated to restoring educator, parent, student, and community influence over education policy and practice.

Conference of the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action


of the

Save Our Schools March

and National Call to Action

July 28-­‐29, 2011

American University, Washington DC

Hosted by

School of Education

Sarah Irvine Belson, Dean


The Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action Executive
Committee (listed alphabetically)

Bess Altwerger, Co-­
‐Chair Event Planning and Endorsements/Sponsorships
Kenneth Bernstein, Political Outreach
Daai’yah Bilal-­
Anthony Cody, Information Coordinator and Special Projects
Katherine McBride Cox, Information Coordinators & Blogging Networks
Al Davidoff
Nancy Flanagan, Media Relations Coordinator
Bob George, Fundraising Committee
Rick Meyer, Co-­
‐Chair Event Planning
Laurie Murphy, National Organizer
Mary Cathryn Ricker
Natalie Schwartz, Parent, Family & Community Outreach
Tim Shea
Rita Solnet, Political Outreach
Sabrina Stevens Shupe, Webmaster and Public Relations Coordinator
Jesse Turner, Regional, State & Local Events and Endorsements
E lisa Waingort, Volunteer Coordinator

We most gratefully acknowledge and thank our supporters. Please visit our website at saveourschoolsmarch.org for a complete listing of these generous individuals.

Welcome! We are thrilled to have you here at American University, our gracious host institution, for our first SOS Conference. These two days are focused on workshops as forums in which you get to learn from others’ expertise, use that expertise to reflect on your own work, learn about the expertise of other individuals attending each workshop, and work collectively to plan for specific actions that you can use upon returning home. Our focus is on your continued involvement with SOS nationally and within your communities at home. This is our first SOS conference! We hope it will be a powerful and influential experience that will help to strengthen your role as an agent of change. The conference is designed to help you make a positive difference for children, teachers, families, and communities throughout the country. We look forward to your continued participation in the years ahead as we work together to accomplish our goals.

Please see the outstanding SOS FILM FESTIVAL Schedule on the last page of the program. Be sure to see these outstanding features; many are included in the registration fee.

American University has provided a Speakers Lounge for workshop leaders and other presenters; it is located in the Library Mud Box Café, basement level of the library. This space is reserved for those individuals.

–Bess Altwerger & Rick Meyer


Conference Overview

Thursday, July 28

8 : 1 5 a.m.                                          Check in and Materials Pick Up (Ward Building)

9:00 a.m.                           Introduction to the Conference/Overview

Keynote Address: Jonathan Kozol Ward 1

10:30-­‐12:30 a.m. (A. TIMESLOT). Choose one of many workshops to attend.

12:30-­‐1:45 Lunch. Your conference registration covers the cost of lunch. Your lunch will be available at the Mary Graydon Center (student union building).

1:45-­‐3:45 p.m. (B. TIMESLOT). Choose one of many workshops to attend.

4:00-­‐5:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: You Can’t Make a Movement, But You Can Prepare for One Hosted by Scott Nine of the Institute for Democratic Education in America.

Ward 1

5:30 Showing of August to June (no charge for conference participants)

Friday, July 28

8 : 1 5 a.m.                                          Check in and Materials Pick Up (Ward Building)

9:00 a.m.                               Introduction to the Second Day of the Conference/Overview

Keynote Address: Diane Ravitch

Ward 1

10:30-­‐12:30 a.m. (C. TIMESLOT). Choose one of many workshops to attend.

12:30-­‐1:45 Lunch. Your conference registration covers the cost of lunch. Your lunch will be available at the Mary Graydon Center (student union building).

1:45-­‐3:45 p.m. (D. TIMESLOT). Choose one of many workshops to attend.

4:00-­‐5:00 p.m. Phoebe Ferguson/Freedom Riders/Song/Student Video. Hosted by Ceresta Smith

Ward 1

5:30-­‐7:30 Reception for all participants (cash bar; refreshments) at the Mary Graydon Center (student union building). No charge for conference participants.

7:30 Film: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman. No charge for conference participants. (Ward Room 1)


Thursday, July 28

9 : 0 0 a.m.

Keynote Session

Ward Building Auditorium 1


Keynote Speaker: Jonathan Kozol

Thursday July 28

A. TIMESLOT 10:30 a.m.-­12:30 p.m.

A.1 Making Art Out of Truth: Poetry of Protest

Classroom 306 in the Library

The stereotype is that the poetry of politics and protest is rarely good poetry. This workshop will challenge that stereotype by working through exercises in metaphor, syntax and diction towards expression that works as both art and activism. No previous experience required, just a willingness to write honestly and artfully. Bring a notebook and a pen.


Taylor Mali is a teacher and spoken-­‐word artist. He is a vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching, and he has performed and lectured for teachers all over the world. His piece, What Teachers Make, is often referred to as “the most forwarded poem in the world.”

A.2 Parents Across America: “The New Parent Involvement”

Ward 3

Parents Across America’s motto is: Our schools. Our children. Our voices. Join us at this workshop and help us put the “public” back in public education.

Parents deserve a seat at the table and the dynamic members of Parents Across America are going to make sure they get it. They are not waiting for the maitre’d!

This session will explore the prevailing privatization movement and the powerful parent activists who are involved in changing that course. PAA co founders will share the compelling story of the charter movement in New Orleans, the cautionary saga behind how Testing is Not Teaching evolved in south Florida and the battleground of the expansion of testing in Charlotte-­‐Mecklenburg, North Carolina. Join this workshop and panel discussion to gain helpful information, for networking ability, and for many answers in an interactive question and answer session.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Pamela Grundy, Karran Harper Royal, and Rita Solnet, co founders of Parents Across America

Pam Grundy is a mom in Charlotte, North Carolina and is a founding member of the grassroots group, Mecklenburg Acts, which has recently led a battle against a massive expansion of standardized tests. Pam was the NC representative at the Mom Congress. She blogs at seenfromtherock.blogspot.com.

Karran Harper Royal is a mom of two sons and education advocate in New Orleans. She is the Assistant Director of Pyramid Community Parent Resource Center and the former Training Coordinator for the NOLA Parent Organizing Network. Her work at Pyramid involves providing one on one support to parents of children with disabilities and conducting workshops to help parents understand their rights under


federal Special Education law. Karran contributes to Research on Reforms and provides a parent voice to the Southern Poverty Law Center along with blogging at Education Talk New Orleans.

Rita Solnet is a mom and F500 businesswoman. She owns an organizational consulting firm after 23 years with IBM. A former PTA President and current Palm Beach County Academic Advisory Council Chair, Rita co-­‐directs a popular grassroots site: Testing is Not Teaching, which mobilizes a large group of informed, and engaged citizens nationwide. Rita blogs on Huffington Post and Education Next and was recently listed as one of Florida’s Top Political Tweeters.

A.3 How You Can Help Get Congress to Transform “No Child Left Behind” Now

Graduate Research Center (GRC, in Library)

While many of us have bad associations with the “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB), some of us may not know specifically what’s wrong with it or how to succinctly explain the problems, how it needs to be changed, and why it is urgent for Congress to overhaul it now. Having been brought together by the Save Our Schools movement, and drawing on their combined years of research and experience from two very different perspectives, lawyer Gary Ratner and community activist Vicki Young, address these issues. The workshop explains the law’s key policies and its faulty assumptions and harmful effects and then, how the federal role should be reconstructed from a “tests and sanctions” position to “helping schools improve.” The workshop’s goal is to provide participants the basic knowledge, advocacy format and practice to enable them to lobby and engage other members of their communities to lobby their Representatives and Senators to transform NCLB in 2011.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Victoria Young and Gary Ratner

Gary M. Ratner, Esq., is the Founder and Executive Director of Citizens for Effective Schools, www.citizenseffectiveschools.org, and Chair, Forum on Educational Accountability, Committee on School Improvement/Capacity-­‐building. For decades, he has been a national leader in developing and advocating fundamental ideas for establishing legal accountability of American public schools to effectively educate all children and for how to improve schools based on what works. He authored major

law review articles, including: “Why the No Child Left Behind Act Needs to be Restructured to Accomplish Its Goals.”

Victoria M. Young, D.V.M., is a parent of 25 years and longtime advocate for quality and equality in education. Her volunteerism ranged from classrooms to committees including selection as a “community scientist” for a Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) institute. Dr. Young provided research for two grants and served as the main writer for an elementary science professional development grant. Her book, Education’s Missing Ingredient: What Parents Can Tell Educators, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2009.

A.4 The Attack on Childhood-­-­and Its Implications for “Family Values” As Well As Democracy Ward 4

This session will explore the rationale behind the title, and the implications of our incessant and early demands for “performance”-­‐-­‐sometimes inaccurately called play-­‐-­‐on young children. Instead of inviting them to live alongside adults we have intruded adult cultural expectations into their imaginative play life, in an effort to substitute their “judgment” with the appropriate “norms” or “answers.” An exploration of our own memories of childhood play as well as adult forms of playfulness, and scenes from school settings that seek to nourish and support such respect for childhood, and some exploration of how this may play out in terms of underlying democratic habits, plus what we might do about it, will fill out the session.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Deborah Meier and Geralyn McLaughin

Deborah Meier is a former kindergarten teacher, founder of several public K-­‐12 schools in East Harlem and Boston, author, active in Coalition of Essential Schools and Forum for Education and Democracy. Geralyn McLaughin is a founding teacher at Mission Hill School, taught in the classroom for 19 years, and is now the director of Empowered by Play, a New York State nonprofit helping families and teachers protect and promote imaginative play in our way-­‐too-­‐busy, consumer-­‐driven, media-­‐filled world.

A. 5 Teaching without Backup: The Lonely Heroism of the American Schoolteacher

Bentley Lounge, in Gray Hall

This session will examine an array of evidence suggesting a startling decline in support for the work done by American public school educators. This waning support is evident in the words and actions of elected officials, the media, and the families and communities that schools serve. It manifests itself in the form of relentless criticism, restricted financial support, and the widespread use of dubious data. The session will explore these questions:

Who are our partners in the formation of our society’s children?

What kinds of support should public schools expect from these partners?

What do the public comments of state and national officials say about support for public education? What does public education policy reveal about state and federal support for public education? Participants will leave with suggestions for action.


John Kuhn is superintendent of the Perrin-­‐Whitt Consolidated Independent School District in Texas. In 2011 he wrote a widely read letter to his legislators that has become known as The Alamo Letter. He later gave a well-­‐received speech on the steps of the Texas State Capitol in defense of public schools and public school teachers that has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube.

A.6 It’s a Class Thing: The Galvanizing Impact of Multi-­Issue Organizing for Public Education Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B 12

Participants will explore why the explosive movements for public education – from the stunning standoff in Madison, to freed Black slaves winning public education during Reconstruction – are ignited by people of color and women. Join a wide-­‐ranging discussion on how to build grassroots campaigns that can win the fight for education and the rights of working people, and generate awareness of the need for fundamental social change. Bring your issues, experiences, and questions. Participants will develop organizing plans and resolutions for: unions and communities to fight for quality, integrated schools for all; local control of curriculum; and mobilization of students, staff, parents, and the community. We’ll discuss efforts to end corporate give-­‐aways and U.S. wars and redirect money to needed services and strategize how to stop the scapegoating of teachers, public workers, immigrants, people of color, youth, and the poor. Workshop facilitators are teacher union activists and leaders in Radical Women, a socialist feminist organization immersed in creating diverse coalitions.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Laura Mannen and Betty Maloney

Laura Mannen is a bilingual teacher and unionist from Oregon who is spearheading a community coalition to stop local budget cuts that aim to dismantle programs, close schools, and lay off twenty percent of district staff. A Radical Women National Executive Committee leader and seasoned defender of undocumented laborers, Mannen met with teachers in Argentina last year.

Betty Maloney, a NJ-­‐AFT member, worked in Washington State, Detroit and Newark schools. She calls maintaining state control of Newark schools a sex, race and class issue. In 1975, she sued a school district for sex discrimination. A veteran antiwar organizer and Radical Women National Executive Committee mainstay, she has built community coalitions around abortion clinic defense.

A.7 Taking an Activist Stance: Students’ and Educators’ Action Plan

Ward 5

Hear from the students and teachers who have been in the streets, organizing and winning real struggles against market reform attacks on public education. Workshop speakers will describe successful fights that have been made in the past few years, such as the 2010 Miami Dade teacher sick out, student walk‐-­out and student/teacher sit-­‐down at the Florida Governor’s office which defeated the legislative effort to tie teachers’ job security and pay to student test scores; the series of student walkouts that have saved arts programs in Los Angeles and laid the basis for the fight against school closures in Detroit, and the successful student occupation that saved Catherine Ferguson Academy, a highly successful program for pregnant and parenting teens, from closure. Presenters will discuss the history of education struggles


from which effective current strategies and tactics have been drawn, the lessons of recent struggles and perspectives for building a movement for quality public education that can win.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Ceresta Smith, Shanta Driver, Julianna Sarr, Tania Kappner, Larcenia Turner‐-­Dixon, LeRoy Lewis, Porsha Jackson, Ashley Matthews, Tiffini Baldwin, Taybrian Joe

Ceresta Smith is a teacher, union activist and leader of the 2010 sit-­‐in at the Florida Governor’s office. Shanta Driver is an attorney and Chairperson of BAMN Coalition. Ms. Driver was the architect of the combination of litigation and mass struggle which won the fight for affirmative action at the Supreme Court in 2003 and the strategist for the successful occupation that kept Catherine Ferguson Academy open this past spring.

Julianna Sarr is a former educator, activist from Newport New Va.

Tania Kappner is a teacher at Oakland Technical High School and a union activist. She has led marches and rallies for immigrant rights and the Dream Act, which have resulted in the Oakland having the strongest sanctuary provisions in the nation. She also led the “Disaster Drill” walkout against cuts in funding for educat ion in California.

Larcenia Turner-­Dixon, is a Miami-­‐Dade County Public Schools educator.

LeRoy Lewis, from Southeastern High School, Detroit, led walk-­‐outs in protest of arts program cuts. Porsha Jackson is from Southeastern High School, Detroit and led walk-­‐outs in protest of arts program cuts.

Ashley Matthews is from Catherine Ferguson High, Detroit and was a participant in the Catherine Ferguson High protests.

Tiffini Baldwin is an alumnus of Catherine Ferguson Academy and was a leader of the Catherine Ferguson Academy occupation which gained national recognition and saved the school from closure. Taybrian Joe from University High, Ferndale, Mich. is a BAMN organizer.

A.8 The Global Classroom

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B 13

Through the power of social media and technology, the classroom can become a global forum with access to authors, speakers, and educators from throughout the world. In this way, literacy education can be more of an innovative, transformational experience. In this workshop, we will discuss how we can transform a local classroom to an international arena, giving students access to the power of story from

a global context. The idea of the global classroom gives educators ideas for providing students with alternative techniques in improving the quality of dialogue in the classroom, and innovating the curriculum to shape youth not only as students, but future leaders.


Ruby Veridiano is a LitCorps Ambassador for Global Literacy Organization LitWorld. She helped develop the Girls Club Initiative in New York City, leading Clubs in Harlem and Brooklyn. She will bring her public speaking and youth empowerment background to Southeast Asia, where adult and youth literacy rates are 62% and 79%, respectively. Ruby uses social media to foster transnational dialogue and a global perspective in isolated communities. She has been an active change agent for the global Filipino community, and is currently preparing to incubate the Girls Club Initiative in her home country of the Philippines this fall.

A.9 Chicana/o Studies and “Engaged Policy”: The TCEP (Texas Center for Education Policy) Theory of Action

Ward 6

Scholars have long written about the motivations to produce knowledge and theory that will be useful for liberation with respect to the technologies of power that enable individuals and groups to be agents of social change. For some, this commitment gets expressed through engagement in scholarly debates; for others, the development of political strategies and agendas within which scholarship plays a role. In general, however, agency in the policy and political world is under-­‐theorized, particularly for subaltern activists. In contrast, this workshop draws on Chicana/o studies to articulate the notion of “engaged policy” that best characterizes the work of the University of Texas at Austin Texas Center for Education

Policy (TCEP). Through a presentation of our work with the Texas State Legislature, TCEP elaborates a framework that incorporates the capacities of community-­‐based efforts, including the presence of politically aware students, educators, and policymakers themselves to democratize the policy making process.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Angela Valenzuela and Patricia D. Lopez

Angela Valenzuela, Ph.D., is a professor in both the Cultural Studies in Education Program within the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and the Educational Policy and Planning Program within the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin where she also serves as the director of the University of Texas Center for Education Policy. She is a state and national leader who has championed the cause of fair and valid assessment.

Patricia D. Lopez is a doctoral candidate in Education Policy and Planning at the University of Texas at Austin, with a portfolio in Mexican American Studies. Patricia is also a Research Associate for the Texas Center for Education Policy with experience working across multiple, diverse communities. During the 2009, 81st legislature, she played a key role in educating legislators and community groups on House Bill 3, Texas’ new system of accountability and testing.

A.10 Building Black-­Latino Parent-­Student Power: There Cannot be Progressive Change in Education Without Direct Black-­Latino Parent-­Student Leadership

Training & Events Room, Library, first floor

The history of public education in the US shows us that it started in Philadelphia and New York City in the 1700s by free Blacks who opened their church to ALL children who wanted to learn FREE of Charge. Ever since then, Blackfolk have been in the vanguard of educational justice and positive change. This new era of privatization of public education has created divisions within all sectors of US society and now threatens to institutionalize an educational caste system of charter schools within the largely Black & Latino urban centers. A new Black and Latino parent-­‐student centered leadership is needed to eradicate the onslaught of privatization and control through high stakes testing. Real Education Reform cannot come from foundations, corporations, universities and liberal do-­‐gooders. Real Education Reform comes from the long tradition of Blacks and Latinos taking the lead in advancing the notion that education is a human right. This session will offer the historical and present day basis for this approach and is designed to be a dialog-­‐for-­‐creative-­‐resistance so that everyone leaving the discussion has an action-­‐plan to make real in their respective communities.

Sam Anderson S. E. Anderson is an activist-­‐teacher-­‐writer native of Brooklyn’s Bedford-­‐Stuyvesant. He has recently taught at NYU’s Gallatin School. He was the Education Director at Medgar Evers College’s Center for Law & Social Justice. Sam was one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party as well as an activist within the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Black Arts Movement of the Sixties. He became one of the first Black Studies directors in 1969 when he was hired to chair Sarah Lawrence College’s Black Studies program. He was also a founding member of the Black Student Congress, African Heritage Studies Association, African Liberation Support Committee, The Black New York Action Committee, Black Liberation Press, and The New York Algebra Project. He is currently active with Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence (BNYEE), the Independent Commission on Public Education in NYC (ICOPE), The Coalition for Public Education and the National Black Education Agenda, and is a founding Board of Trustees member of The Malcolm X Museum. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Brecht Forum. S. E. Anderson has taught mathematics at Queens College, Sarah Lawrence College, SUNY at Old Westbury College, Rutgers University and the New School University as well as CCNY & Queens Colleges’ Centers for Worker Ed. He is currently editing The Reparations Now! Reader (Doubleday). S. E. Anderson lives in Bed-­‐Stuy with his writer-­‐activist wife, Rosemari Mealy. They have two sons, Marc & Dedan and two granddaughters, Nandi and Amari.

A.11 Toward a Declaration of Education Rights

Conference Room in Gray Hall

Human rights have been defined as those conditions necessary for human welfare and effective human action. Education Rights can be understood as those conditions necessary for optimum human growth


and development in the context of democracy. In the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a Declaration of Education Rights would serve as a common ethical standard, or moral compass, by which we can guide our educational practice, develop programs and policies, and evaluate our ongoing efforts. In this workshop, participants will examine the purpose of education in a democracy and generate guidelines needed to keep our work in line with this vision. We will also have an opportunity to review proposed articles for a Declaration of Education Rights and suggest revisions and/or additions. Participants will leave with tools to engage our own communities in dialogue around these issues. WORKSHOP LEADERS: Peter Bergson and David Bloomfield

David Bloomfield (J.D., Columbia; MPA, Princeton) is Professor, Education Law & Policy, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center; author, American Public Education Law (2d ed. in press). A former teacher, he was General Counsel, NYC Board of Education and an elected parent member and President, Citywide Council on High Schools.

Peter Bergson co-­‐founded Open Connections, a non-­‐profit center for Open Education in suburban Philadelphia, PA. “OC” serves a community of 160 homeschoolers/unschoolers ages 4 through high school. After 32 years as executive director, Peter now serves as trustee and consultant focusing on financial and staff development. Prior to starting Open Connections, he was Director of Training for Synectics, Inc., a group problem-­‐solving consultancy whose work in creativity and collaboration defines the OC Approach.

A.12 Public School Reform: From the Belly of the Beast

CM C, Library, Third Floor

Participants will experience a historic timeline illustrating our nation’s road to our current perception of “education reform” through a voice within the belly of the beast. This workshop will actively engage attendees by touching on the social/emotional, evidence/research-­‐based, legislative and corporate sides of education. This historic journey of struggle for justice from inside the beltway of Washington, D.C. sheds light on the dark and unspoken corners of key decisions that have been made. These local legislative choices have grown into grave unintended consequences affecting the rest of our nation. Those partaking in this session will leave with an understanding of what courageous actions have been taken thus far and how to use the information that has been imparted onto them for continued action. WORKSHOP LEADER: Marni Barron

Marni Mintener Barron holds a BA is Elem. Ed. from Howard Univ. (’94) and MA in Teaching from Marygrove College (’00). She is a veteran teacher, reading and instructional coach, and teachers’ union volunteer who has blazed trails and demonstrated courage, passion, and creativity throughout her career. For the past 17 years, Barron has presided over classrooms in three school districts where her creative use of reading and academic improvement strategies has changed lives of hundreds of students. Barron has developed award winning peace inspired academic curriculum, co-­‐authored holistic reading strategies, authored two children’s books and created hip hop educational recordings. Additionally, Barron spends time on Capitol Hill meeting with Senate and Congressional members pushing social/emotional instruction, evidence/research-­‐based instructional strategies and environmental literacy programs. Currently, Barron continues to bring innovation and creativity as the instructional coach to Phoebe Hearst Elementary School in Northwest Washington, D.C.


Thursday July 28

B. TIMESLOT 1:45-­3:45 p.m.

B.1 Current Issues in Bilingual Education: Making Authentic Progress

Graduate Research Center (GRC, in Library)

Join us for an interactive workshop where we will not only collectively identify current issues in Bilingual/English Language Learner Education, but will also explore effective solutions to these most urgent challenges. Be part of an active group of educators who are looking to identify what we should stop doing in Bilingual/ELL Education, keep doing in Bilingual/ELL Education, and start doing to improve Bilingual/ELL Education. Connect with a community of advocates who intend to grow and make positive, significant changes for ELL students in their communities. Listen, share, and grow while you’re here, and acquire a network of contacts so we can productively continue fostering future change through active communication.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Susana Ibara, Jennifer Mares, Sonya Romero, Blythe Turner

Susana Ibarra Johnson is a Bilingual Education teacher who has been working as a Bilingual/ESL educational consultant for the past eight years. Born to a family of migrant workers, she combines her own personal experience with a repertoire of educational methods to further develop literacy and language instruction. A doctoral candidate , she also works with individual teachers to implement dual language immersion programs and to analyze strategies that utilize bilingual learners’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Jennifer Mares has been a teacher in schools on the U.S./Mexico border for the last 12 years. Although she has instructed students in grades 1-­‐8, her passion truly lies in teaching middle school English Language Learners. Ms. Mares earned her B.S. in Education, Dual Licensure, from New Mexico State University and her M.Ed., Instructional Specialist in English as a Second Language, from the University of Texas at El Paso. Ms. Mares has worked in El Paso ISD, Canutillo ISD, and Gadsden ISD, predominantly teaching students with exceptionalities. She remains a devoted and enthusiastic parent and educator in an unbalanced public education system, and therefore, continuously strives to live as a positive instrument of change.

Blythe Turner is a second grade bilingual teacher at Rio Rancho Elementary in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She is the Native American Liaison at her school and works with the district Native American Parent Advisory Council. As a doctoral student at the University of New Mexico in the Language, Literacy and

S ocio-­‐Cultural Studies Department, she hopes to further advance her knowledge and experience in education. Blythe was also selected as the New Mexico Teacher of the Year in 2009.

Sonya Romero is a Bilingual/ESL Kindergarten teacher for the Albuquerque Public School District. She has been teaching for 14 years with Bilingual and ESL communities both in Dual Language and Immersion Schools. Having moved from Puerto Rico back to New Mexico with Spanish being her primary language, she is able to articulate and understand the needs of her Bilingual/ ESL students. She studied in Spain and has a masters in literacy. Sonya also teaches teachers how to manage, maintain and build classroom community environments to support their students.

B.2 Initiating and Sustaining Real Change within Your Community

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B 12

An interactive workshop designed for rank and file teachers that will prepare them to begin the work of community engagement. From a ground up approach, union leadership will be more responsive to the issues and needs of its membership. In addition, the workshop will address how parents and community members can effect real change (e.g. run for and elect new school board members) and how to bring out numbers for union actions.


Karen GJ Lewis was elected President of the 30,000-­‐member Chicago Teachers Union on June 11, 2010. A member of Chicago Teachers Union since 1988, Mrs. Lewis taught high school chemistry in the Chicago


Public Schools for 22 years. She has served the Union as a member of the House of Delegates, High School Functional Vice President and as a member of the Illinois State Certification Board. She received National Board Certification in 2002. Karen is a product of Chicago Public Schools. She attended Mount Holyoke College and later transferred to Dartmouth College, where she earned the distinction of being the only African American woman in the class of 1974. Mrs. Lewis comes from a family of educators -­‐-­‐ her father, mother and husband, John Lewis, who is now retired, all were CPS teachers.

B.3 The Struggle for Justice: The Attack on Chicano Studies and Ethnic Studies in Arizona Conference Room in Gray Hall

The events in Tucson, Arizona in the past two years have captivated the attention of the country and the world. Our workshop will focus on the anti-­‐Chicano/Latino political climate in Arizona by focusing upon the Arizona Legislature, Attorney General, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s attempt to eliminate our Mexican American Studies program in Tucson and all ethnic studies in Arizona. We will chronicle the political climate, recent history, and current fate of the Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, Arizona which has been the target for elimination by Arizona elected officials who openly contribute to anti-­‐Latino sentiments throughout the state. The workshop will include interactive elements where participants can experience the social justice oriented curriculum, as well as an open dialogue that will detail the nationwide effort to save ethnic studies in Arizona.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Curtis Acosta & Sean Arce

Curtis Acosta is an educator and critical pedagogue. Curtis has been an instrumental part in helping create the largest Mexican American Studies high school program in the United States. It is a program centered on student empowerment, anti-­‐racist, multicultural curriculum with a social justice emphasis. He recently completed his 16th year of teaching in TUSD and 14th year at Tucson High Magnet School, of which the last seven years he developed and taught Chicano Literature and Social Justice Literature. He is one of the 11 teachers who are plaintiffs in a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Arizona’s “anti‐-­ethnic studies” law.

Sean Arce is the director of Mexican American Studies Department in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). At his heart, he is a teacher, critical pedagogue, and one of the original educators that molded the Mexican American Studies Department. He is a key architect in the development of culturally responsive and socially relevant social studies curriculum that has been the foundation for success of the Mexican American Studies program. Under his guidance the program has grown from a single American History Mexican American Perspective class to some 44 high school level classes throughout TUSD, and more at the K-­‐12 level.

B.4 The Arts and Social Action: Envisioning Change

Bentley Lounge, in Gray Hall

Translated by art educators into units of instruction for students of all grade levels, collaborative interdisciplinary projects can evolve that are intended to examine social, cultural and environmental issues within communities. We will share our work regarding how the arts, community, and social change interconnect with each other. We examine the ways in which artistic experiences serve as acts of public agency and how the arts and aesthetics can be used to bring voice and vision to stories often marginalized by the dominant educational narrative. Simply put, without arts education in public schools, arts education in the public sphere would lack approaches to inquire about and positively contribute to the world the understandings, experiences, and processes essential to the arts. The understandings, experiences, and processes central to creating works of art encourage interpersonal interactions that privilege collaboration and community.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Morna Mcdermott, Mary Stone Hanley, B. Stephen Carpenter II, Louise Music M orna McDermott is an associate professor at Towson University, where she teaches theory and

methods courses in the College of Education. Her scholarship and research interests focus on democracy, social justice, and arts-­‐informed inquiry in K-­‐post secondary educational settings.

Dr. Mary Stone Hanley is an assistant professor at George Mason University; she has been an educator in public schools and higher education for more than almost 40 years and a poet and theater artist since her


teens. Her research interests include the arts and equity in education, particularly how the arts can facilitate student-­‐centered learning, critical consciousness, and social justice in schools and communities. B. Stephen Carpenter II is professor of Art Education at Penn State University. He is author/co-­‐author of journal articles and book chapters on art education, visual culture, and curriculum theory. His mixed media installations and performance artworks have been exhibited in regional, national, and international exhibitions. Carpenter was editor of Art Education, the journal of the National Art Education Association

(2004-­‐2006) and is co-­‐editor of the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy.

Louise Music is the Arts Learning Manager at the Alameda County Office of Education. She advocates for arts education, connects districts and schools to resources, and facilitates communication between school districts and the State Department of Education in support of quality arts education for every child, in every school, every day. As Director of the Alameda County Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, Music has led the development of a research-­‐based professional development system for culturally responsive arts integrated instruction.

B.5 The Past, Present and Future of Education: A Struggle For and Against Universal Up Lifting Education

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B 13

Please join us for this recorded audiovisual sessi on (followed by an interactive question and discussion period) during which three highly esteemed language and literacy scholars will consider the events and issues of today in terms of their own lived experiences and the perspectives they have on what is happening today in education. They’ll consider literacy, minorities, languages, and cultures. They will address these critical questions: 1) Why at this point in our lives have we remained involved? 2) Are we just being stubborn or is there real hope for change? 3) Does the pendulum swing in education? 4) Is there a better metaphor for forward and back progress in public education? 5) What have we achieved in education over the last half century and who wants to change that and why? 6) What do we see as the future for American education and for the rest of the world? 7) What should be the role of progressive educators at this critical time and how can we get the truth across to those who should be our allies? WORKSHOP LEADERS: Ken Goodman, Yetta Goodman, and Carole Edelskey; facilitators from the Save Our Schools Program Committee

Host: Members of the Executive Committee of Save Our Schools

Kenneth Goodman is a practical theorist, researcher and teacher educator whose work has changed our understanding of literacy processes, how they are learned and how best to teach them. His research based comprehensive theory demonstrates that reading is a unitary process in which readers actively construct meaning (make sense) of print.

Yetta M. Goodman is Regents Professor Emerita at the University of Arizona College of Education in the Department of Language, Reading and Culture. She consults with education departments and speaks at conferences regarding issues of language, teaching and learning. In addition to her many publications on early literacy and miscue analysis research and on reading and writing processes, she has popularized the term kidwatching, encouraging teachers to be professional observers of the language and learning development of their students. She is a past president of NCTE, CELT, and the Reading Hall of Fame. Carole Edelsky is a Professor Emerita of Curriculum and Instruction at Arizona State University. She taught courses in sociolinguistics, language education, language arts methods, reading methods, discourse analysis, teacher research, and gender and language. Her book Writing in a Bilingual Program: Habia Una  Vez reported on one of the first book -­‐length studies of the writing of bilingual children. Her long-­‐time interests in issues concerning the language education of minority children, critical literacy and political advocacy in education are reflected in her many writings, including Making Justice Our Project.

B.6 Dismantling the School-­to-­Prison Pipeline

Ward 3

The “School-­‐to-­‐Prison-­‐Pipeline” is a set of educational policies and practices that either directly criminalize students or have the effect of pushing young people—especially students of color and students with disabilities—out of school and toward the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This


workshop will explore various causes of the Pipeline, such as overly harsh school discipline practices and high-­‐stakes standardized testing, and how these misguided practices work in tandem with the justice system to limit students’ educational opportunities. The workshop will also examine local, state, and federal strategies for addressing these problems.

Workshop Leaders: Seema Ahmad & Bob Schaeffer

Seema Ahmad is a Staff Attorney at Advancement Project, where she focuses on educational policies and practices that over-­‐criminalize youth and push them out of school. Prior to joining Advancement Project, Ahmad was a Human Rights Fellow at the Open Society Institute in Washington, DC where she focused on post-­‐9/11 civil liberties and human rights issues. Ahmad is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Stanford University.

Bob Schaeffer is a published author and media expert who has served as Public Education Director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, since its founding in 1985. He also is a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Prior to working with FairTest, he worked as an Editorial Writer at the NBC-­‐TV affiliate in Boston and served as Research Director of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Human Services and Elderly Affairs. He is also the national media consultant for the Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action.

B.7 Revitalizing the American High School

Ward 4

Can the American High School be fixed? Can it be a place graduates can learn to collaborate and to work independently, develop organizational, research, writing, presentation and public speaking skills as they kick-­‐start a lifetime of personal growth? Can it be a place where students, educators, community members and administrators can work collaboratively to bring passion back into learning? Of course it can. To be more competitive, our students need to be more independent learners and better problem

solvers. To succeed in college and work, they need to be able to manage time, develop good interpersonal skills, set realistic goals, and become more self-­‐reliant. Students in the WISE program (WISE Individualized Senior Experience) and other programs have done so for over 37 years in high schools all over the country. This forum will discuss this and several other ways high schools can be revitalized to achieve these results.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: David Greene, Vic Leviatin, David Marcus, Nia McCarthy, Mark Naison

David Greene is a former Social Studies teacher and coach in NYC, Woodlands HS, and Scarsdale HS. He is a field supervisor for Fordham University, mentoring Teach For Americans in the Bronx. He is a staff member of WISE Services, an advisor to the Foundation For Male Studies and The Boy Initiative, and a member of the Save Our Schools Call to Action Program Committee.

Vic Leviatin is the founder and President of WISE Services. He has been fighting the good fight for experiential learning since he and 3 other teachers created the Woodlands Individualized Senior Experience at Woodlands High School in White Plains in 1973. Today, as a result of his efforts, over 60 schools nationwide have a WISE Individualized Senior Experience program. There are now more than 30,000 WISE graduates, ranging in age from 18 to 56.

Dave Marcus has been a newspaper and newsmagazine reporter, a high school teacher and a writing instructor at a business school. In between, he wrote two highly-­‐praised nonfiction books about High School. Marcus shared the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for a series about violence against women around the world. He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Houston, a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow at three colleges.

Nia McCarthy is a 2011 WISE graduate of Woodlands High School in White Plains, New York. She will be attending American University in the fall. She did her WISE project on the power of marketing and film. She also worked for two organizations for battered and abused women and teens. She is a perfect example of what empowered and impassioned students can do given the opportunity.

Dr Mark Naison is Professor of African and African American Studies at Fordham and the founder of the Bronx African American History Project. The opposite of an “Ivory Tower Intellectual,” Naison has spent more than thirty years as a coach and community organizer in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and has more


than a little “street cred” through his appearance on “The Chappelle Show” and the raps he gives in Bronx Schools as “Notorious PhD.”

B.8 Teachers, Parents, and Students as Partners in Education: Strategies for Creating and Sustaining Positive Change in Public Schools

Classroom 306 in the Library

At a time when competition, accountability, punishments and rewards, and individual achievement combine in a lethal mix of high stakes testing, our national debate about improving education has lost its way. We will start by discussing what we value about public education and how we can return to meaningful conversations among all stakeholders about what is in the best interests of young people, their teachers and parents. Strategies will be shared about how to help both parents and teachers have more meaningful conversations about the education of the children both care deeply about, and how to develop plans for political activism together. The workshop leader will draw on ideas from two important resources: Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-­School Partnerships (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies, 2007) and School, Family & Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators and Improving Schools (Epstein, 2010).

WORKSHOP LEADER: Alexandra Miletta

Dr. Alexandra Miletta taught 5th and 6th grade in Edmonds, Washington for four years, and has a B.A. from Wellesley College, and an M.A. from Syracuse University in art history. She completed her PhD in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan. She currently teaches in the Department of Childhood Education at Mercy College in New York. With her mother, Maureen Miletta, she co-­‐authored Classroom Conversations: A Collection of Classics for Parents and Teachers published in 2008 by The New Press.

B.9 Defending Public Education by Building a Grassroots Movement of Parents, Teachers and Students

CM C, Library, third floor

The institution of public education and the major stakeholders – parents, students and teachers – have come under severe attack. Only by building a movement based on democratic institutions from the ground up can we hope to reverse the attempt to move massive amounts of public funding for education into the hands of privatizes. Explore ideas on how to reach out to activate people to build the resistance and fight to transform education. We have been actively organizing in NYC to stop school closings, charter school co-­‐locations, mayoral control of the schools, high stakes testing, and other privatization deforms. We will share our experiences as well and present our “toolkit” which can be used to organize in school communities.

WORKSHOP LEADERS belong to The Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), which educates, organizes and mobilizes educators, parents, students and our communities against the corporate and government policies that underfund, undermine and privatize our public school system. GEM advocates both within and outside the UFT for the equality and quality of public education services and the rights of school workers.

Julie Cavanagh is a special education teacher in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She is a founding member of Concerned Advocates for Public Education, a community-­‐based parent and teacher organization. With GEM, she advocates around issues dealing with the equality and quality of public educational services as well as the rights of teachers and school workers.

Liza Campbell just completed her third year as a high-­‐school math teacher at the Academy for Environmental Leadership in Brooklyn’s Bushwick High School Campus. She has been active as an organizer with GEM in many of the activities around the closing of schools, charter co-­‐locations and high stakes testing. She writes a column at Gotham Schools.

Norm Scott, one of the founding members of GEM, worked in the NYC school system from 1967 to 2002, spending 30 of those years teaching elementary school in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. He remains active in education reform and in the UFT. In 1996 he began publishing Education Notes, expanding into a tabloid distributed citywide and into a blog, EdNotesOnline, in Aug. 2006.

Aleve Dervish has taught at PS 15 in Brooklyn for 15 years. She has been active on groups fighting back


against charter school invasions of public school space in GEM and in CAPE.

Lisa North has spent two decades teaching elementary school in the Bed-­‐Stuy section of Brooklyn. She has been a staff developer and is the UFT chapter leader at the school.

B.10 What’s next? A Think/Do Tank?

Ward 5

The national SOS action in Washington is the beginning, not the end, of our efforts to defend public education and public engagement against the powerful forces promoting privatization. Mike Klonsky will lead a brainstorming session to plan a Think/Do tank with a focus on democratic means to preserve and improve public education. We hope to bring together teachers, parents, writers, researchers, speakers and community activists who are willing to speak truth to power. We are eager to gather ideas about a

post-­‐conference research agenda, organizing and media strategies, and to ensure that this moment of opportunity is optimized.


Mike Klonsky teaches at DePaul University in Chicago. A longtime activist and educator, he is the director of the Small Schools Workshop and the author of numerous articles about public education and public policy. His most recent book is Small Schools: Public School Reform Meets the Ownership Society (2008). He blogs at “Mike Klonsky’s Small Talk” (michaelklonsky.blogspot.com).

B.11 Organizing to Create Change and Action

Training & Events Room, Library First Floor

This workshop will serve as a template for community organizing for the purpose of creating a specific action or change. Group activities will include clarifying the mission, identifying key stakeholders, building diverse partnerships, establishing timelines and goals, using new technology, obtaining publicity, and funding options. Discussions will also address areas of challenge typically encountered in the growth process, such as negotiating differences among new partners, learning to reframe messages, and handling aggressive opposition tactics. By following the verbal and written templates provided, participants will be better equipped to take actions for remaining proactive and productive rather than ones that are reactive and divert the organization from its mission and specific goals.


Laurie Murphy is the Director of Resource Development for a nonprofit agency serving multiple counties in central Florida. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years. Laurie has strong ties to the educational community, as her husband, two of her children, and countless others in prior generations have all served their communities as teachers.

B. 1 2 Viewing and Discussion of the film Lessons From the Real World

Ward 6                                                                                                                                                                                          Lessons

From the Real World, a highly informative and entertaining documentary, filled with engaging teachers, students and lessons will surely bring much needed attention to a long neglected and critical aspect of the debate around public education. The film contends, like many educators, that focusing on test scores to improve student achievement is looking in the wrong place. Learning to read, do math and other subjects will come if students care about what they are learning, rather than drilling them with subject matter largely divorced from their real lives, and the community and societal problems which often impact those lives. In Portland, Oregon, teachers at a wide range of schools are putting this idea into practice. While this is their story, it can help point the way to rethinking how schools everywhere can be successfully transformed. This recently released documentary has aired on many PBS stations around the country and has been very positively received. It is also a follow-­‐up to an earlier documentary Bob produced, Democracy Left Behind (2007), which was highly critical of NCLB. Interested possible workshop participants can learn more about both films by visiting my website: DocMakerOnline.com.

Film Producer/Discussant: Bob Gliner; Film Host: Anne Geiger                                                                     Bob Gliner
is an award winning documentary producer with more than 30 programs to his credit. His programs have appeared on PBS stations throughout the United States and have also been shown to classes in a wide


variety of university and public school settings, as well as by nonprofit organizations. His primary focus is social problems and social change -­‐ both inside the United States and throughout the world. Bob was a long time Sociology Professor at San Jose State University in California. He taught College of Education classes in developing interdisciplinary curriculum which focus on social issues for K-­‐12 schools

Film Host: Anne Geiger is a member of the program committee of SOS and has been instrumental in bringing a films series to the conference, including the days prior to the conference.

B. 1 3 Florida and the National Trend to Sell Public Education To The Highest Bidder McKinley

Florida leads a multi-­‐state effort to corporatize public education. Governor Rick Scott presided over a reckless season of nationally-­‐driven model legislation and bold reforms instigated by former Governor Jeb Bush. Once again, Florida will be central to the 2012 Presidential race. Hope depends on millions of citizens, regardless of party, standing up to take the state back for the children by growing an authentic grassroots movement and telling the story. The story includes the facts that: high stakes tests are used to hurt children and funnel billions to testing giants like Pearson; ideology and hedge-­‐fund dollars are behind vouchers, charters and virtual; education in Florida is separate, unequal and unfair; and Florida’s emerging for-­‐profit education caste system is destroying public education. In this session, learn how you and we might execute a plan for fighting back.

Workshop Leaders: Kathleen Oropeza, Linda Kobert and Christine Bramuchi

FundEducationNow.org was started in 2009 by Florida parents Kathleen Oropeza, Linda Kobert and Christine Bramuchi to speak against the Florida Legislature’s plan to: defund public education, disrespect professional educators and cause deep and lasting harm to the state’s 2.6 million school children. The statewide non-­‐partisan alliance uses its web site, issue alerts, grass roots organizing and media outreach to grow advocates and raise awareness about the orchestrated threat to Florida public education. FundEducationNow.org is suing the Florida Legislature for failing to perform its “paramount duty” to provide a free, high quality, safe, efficient and uniform system of public education as required by the Florida Constitution.

Thursday July 28

Panel Discussion

You Can’t Make a Movement, But You Can

Prepare for One

4 : 0 0-­5:00 p.m.

Ward 1

For one hour, we begin the work that must be done to answer the call to Save Our Schools. Through an interactive panel and whole conference conversation, we will explore the stories we tell about the educational landscape and begin to surface our capacity to collaborate, strategize, and renew.

Hosted and Led by Scott Nine of the Institute for Democratic Education in America.

Scott Nine is the Executive Director of IDEA. A dynamic public speaker and organizer, he enjoys teaching and learning about leadership, social justice, community, educational reform, environmental sanity, personal growth, entrepreneurship, and how we get along with one another.

5:30 Film: August to June; admission included as part of conference registration.


Friday, July 29

9 : 0 0 a.m.

Keynote Session

Ward Building Auditorium 1

Keynote Speaker: Diane Ravitch

Friday July 29

C. TIMESLOT 10:30 a.m-­12:30 p.m.

C.1 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) will be presenting two one-­hour workshops during the two-­hour time period.

Conference Room in Gray Hall

# 1 : The Attacks on Anti War Activists and New McCarthyism

In the latter part of 2010 and in May of 2011 the FBI raided the homes of 24 Anti War, International Solidarity, and Labor Activists. These members were primarily comprised of members of Students for a Democratic Society and Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Students for a Democratic Society has coined the slogan “Education is a Right, not a Privilege” and placed the issue of education as a cornerstone of national organizing work being done since the refounding of SDS in 2006. These attacks are a dire ct assault on the ability of inhabitants within the United States to participate in peaceful, non-­‐violent, and constitutionally protected activism. The acts of political repression function as an intimidation tactic to deter the education and development of future activists. It is paramount that activists have the ability to express themselves freely and to be able to educate themselves on issues of both national and international importance. Students for a Democratic Society sees it as an imperative, the unification with the international student movement in a concise and tactical defense against privatization of public education. SDS will identify specific tactics and strategies in the mobilization of demonstrations and how these direct actions will increase protections of free speech and the education of activists through experience generally.

# 2 : Unification of Students, Workers and National Movements

We will first describe briefly the current international student movement, including various actions and tactics employed and how these compare with what has occurred in the United States. This will include an analysis of the labor movement working in conjunction with the student movement. Afterwards we will move into a general discussion on national movements such as Women’s Equality, LGBT, Worker, and Immigrant rights. We will discuss victories and losses in both legislative and movement tactics in mobilization. From here we begin putting it all together in understanding the importance and necessity of unification of all national movements required to move towards real social progress. The solutions to social injustice and economic in-­‐equality via the unification of all movements, will be outlined in order to break down the divisions within movement work allowing for a revival of a real civil rights era in the 21st Century.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Stephen Stephanie Taylor, Hayden Smith, Kas Schwerdtfeger

Stephanie Taylor has been active with SDS for 4+ years and has been an active member of SDS’s National Working Committee for 2 of those years. As a part of her activism with SDS, Stephanie has organized for and participated in major national demonstrations including the 2008 Republic National Convention


protests, the annual School of the Americas protests in Georgia, and Anti -­‐War protests from California to D.C. She does her local SDS work at the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, MN. Currently, her chapter and other SDS chapters have united with many other groups to fight back against the political repression of activists that is threatening strong movements from Chicano/Immigrants Rights to the Anti‐-­War and International Solidarity..

Hayden Smith is a high school senior from Lake Braddock in Burke, VA. He started an SDS chapter at his school last year, and it’s been exciting to see people organize to fight for justice at the high school level. He’s coming to the conference because he believes education can change the world.

Kas Schwerdtfeger is a student at the University of Wisconsin-­‐Milwaukee, and a National Organizer of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In the Spring of 2011, Kas and other members of SDS organized and led two student walkouts in Milwaukee on February 17th and March 2nd. With over 5,000 total participants, including both high school and college students, university professors, teaching assistants, union workers, high school teachers, and community supporters, these were the largest grassroots political actions seen at UW-­‐Milwaukee since a 1971 campus walkout during the Vietnam War, and spawned a student occupation of part of the university that lasted to the end of the school year. Kas is also active in building student support in the ongoing struggle for collective bargaining rights in the state capitol of Madison, WI.

C.2 Why Teach For America (TFA) Must Change: Properly Training New Teachers for the Rigors of Teaching

Ward 3

” Our job is not to make up anybody’s mind but to make the agony of decision-­‐making so intense you can only escape by thinking.” -­‐Fred Friendly

This session offers a glimpse of the site-­‐based realities of TFA corps members: intelligent, recent college graduates, with no education-­‐school background, who commit to teach for two years in poverty schools. In a manner that preserves the temporal nature of events, circumstances, school district policies, corps culture, and in some cases, Kozol-­‐like revelations, teacher educators who work with TFA and TFA-­‐trained novice teachers, examine the issues surrounding corps success and challenges in schools where students are most at-­‐risk of academic failure. The goals of this panel discussion are threefold: a) disseminate information on the TFA teacher training experience; b) learn from participants what types of teacher training works and the time frame for implementation; and c) enable policy-­‐makers, the public, and funding agents to more closely examine issues that impact equitable public education.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Dave Gree ne, Barbara Torre Veltri, Janet Grossbach Mayer, Lawrence Mayer, John Bilby, John Williamson

David Greene is a former 38-­‐year Social Studies teacher and coach in the Bronx, Woodlands HS, and Scarsdale HS. He is a field supervisor and adjunct for Fordham University, mentoring Teach For Americans in the Bronx. He is a staff member of WISE (Woodlands Individualized Senior Experience) Services, an advisor to the Foundation For Male Studies and The Boy Initiative, and a member of the Save Our Schools Call to Action Program Committee.

Dr. Barbara Torre Veltri is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Northern Arizona University. Author of Learning on Other People’s Kids: Becoming a Teach For America Teacher, her

research interests include teacher education, alternative certification pathways, Teach For America, social studies education and teaching through a sports-­‐themed curriculum. Diane Ravitch noted Veltri’s book was one of the top three books about education reform. Dr. Veltri holds permanent certification in both New York and Connecticut and earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction in 2005.

Janet Grossbach Mayer decided to become a teacher at the age of five. She has just completed her 50th year as an award winning high school teacher of English and reading. For 45 years she taught in NYC schools, 33 of them in the Bronx. Her new book, AS BAD AS THEY SAY? Three Decades of Teaching in the Bronx, has received great reviews from Diane Ravitch, Deborah Meier, Jonathan Kozol and Dan Brown. Lawrence Mayer graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and has a B.S. Degree in Biology and a M.S Degree in science education from New York University. He was an award-­‐winning biology teacher in NYC schools for 10 years before becoming an assistant Principal, followed later by his appointment as


a high school principal in both Westchester N.Y. and on Long Island. He is a renowned master teacher and a master trainer of teachers.

John Bilby taught 7th and 9th grade English in the Bronx as a Teach For America teacher from September 2009 until March 2010. He resigned because he felt that the training and support were inadequate, and that the program did not have a solution to the problem of educational inequity. He is currently enrolled in a traditional teacher certification program for Social Studies 7-­‐12 at the City University of New York. John Williamson was a Teach For America 2010 Corps Member in Detroit, after two prior years working for a college access program. Trained to teach secondary mathematics, he was moved into three different elementary grade level classes at two different schools in his first two months before resigning, feeling that the program is inadequate in preparing and supporting its members. He now works with adults with autism while pursuing other career routes in education.

C.3 The Attacks on K-­12 and Higher Ed: How Do We Fight Back?

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B12

The attacks on K-­‐12 and on higher education are similar in motivation, method, and in the disastrous results they are having on our students and on education in our country. This workshop, based on work in higher education, is designed to offer ideas and generate discussion about how we can work most effectively to achieve our demands for quality education for all from pre-­‐K through graduate school. Drawing on the work of a college faculty union dedicated to social activism and on work done in developing the newly-­‐launched Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, the workshop will focus on ideas for action that both individuals and unions representing educators can take. Special attention will be paid to the importance of framing of issues and of reaching out to allies.


Teri Shaffer Yamada is president of the California Faculty Association (CFA) at CSU Long Beach and CFA officer for membership and organizing. She is currently involved in organizing the national Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (http://futureofhighered.org/) and is a founding member of the Southern California Education Coalition. She published an essay on restructuring in NEA’s Thought and Action (Fall 2010), “Restructuring the California State University: A Call to Action,” and edits the blog “Restructuring Public Hi Ed” (http://teriyamada.wordpress.com).

C.4 Building Successful Parent-­Teacher Partnerships

Classroom 306 in the Library

Studies show parental involvement has a major impact on academic achievement. But children benefit the most when parents and teachers work together as partners. By establishing effective partnerships, parents and teachers can increase productivity, improve student performance, and experience a rewarding school year. We will provide participants with the communication strategies and interpersonal skills required to develop constructive, cooperative relationships with the parents of their students. We’ll offer actionable strategies for improving communication with their child’s teacher and fostering their child’s academic success. Before teachers and families can establish a unified stance in facilitating beneficial education policy change, they must learn to work together as partners at the classroom level. WORKSHOP LEADER: Natalie Schwartz

Natalie Schwartz is the author of The Teacher Chronicles: Confronting the Demands of Students, Parents, Administrators and Society. She has appeared on the Oprah & Friends Radio Network and PTA Radio to discuss how parents and teachers can develop constructive partnerships. She has also written articles on the topic for Instructor Magazine (Scholastic), Our Children (National PTA), Teacher Magazine (Editorial Projects in Education), Westchester Family (Dominion Parenting Media), and TeachHUB.doc (K-­‐12 Teachers Alliance).

C.5 The New Parent Involvement: Why the Real Reforms Won’t Happen Without Us This session contains two one-­hour related workshops during the two-­hour workshop. Ward 4


# 1 Why Smaller Classes Work and “Race To The Top” Won’t: Proven

Strategies for Success Rather Than Failed Policies

We will show how the research and the experience of states and districts throughout the country reveal that the high-­‐stakes accountability regime, online learning, and privatization schemes being pushed by the corporate reformers have not led to gains, as opposed to class size reduction. We will also give you the evidence to take back to your communities to show that these policies represent a risky large scale experiment on our children.

Workshop Leaders: Robin Hiller, Voices for Education and Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters Robin Hiller is the Executive Director of Voices for Education, an organization she founded in 1998 in response to her son’s enrollment in an over-­‐crowded kindergarten class. Her goal was to create a way to educate and empower parents to be a part of the decision-­‐making process about education issues at the local and state level. Prior to establishing Voices for Education, Robin worked on political campaigns for candidates and initiatives for over 20 years. She has also worked for elected officials developing policies that supported children, youth and families.

# 2 What’s Wrong with NCLB: The Parents Across America Blueprint

for Reform, and What We Can Do About It

The SOS March has endorsed the PAA Blueprint for reforming ESEA/NCLB -­‐ find

out why, what it is that parents want to see in a new ESEA, and learn some

practical tips on how to lobby your elected representatives and have an impact on the future of education in the US. Parents are often brought to the table after decisions have been made to make it look as if they were actually consulted. Come meet parent activists from across the nation who have had an impact on their schools, districts and states. Each of the facilitators is a core member of Parents Across America, a national grassroots coalition of activist parent groups.

Workshop Leaders: Julie Woestehoff of PURE and PAA; and Gene Fisher, legislative

director, Parents Across America.

Julie Woestehoff is the executive director of Chicago-­‐based Parents United for Responsible Education and a co-­‐founder of Parents Across America. Julie’s work on key education issues like high-­‐stakes testing and school governance has earned her a Ford Foundation leadership award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago. She’s a veteran local school council member and the proud parent of two Chicago Public Schools graduates.

C.6 Wisconsin Teachers Organize and Take Action on Social Justice: Public Education Issues in Milwaukee, Madison and Wisconsin

Bentley Lounge, in Gray Hall

This workshop addresses the “Teacher and Community Leadership in Forming Public Education Policies” demand of SOS. Participants will actively engage in personal reflection and small work group analysis around organizing for social action in their local school communities. Participants will leave with self­‐- selected next steps in their personal action plan for their own leadership around social justice, public education issues in their own communities. This workshop will engage rank and file educators in an overview of multiple organizing efforts in the city of Milwaukee, the state capitol of Madison and statewide including traditional and social media, rallies/marches, mobile phone banking, petitions, grade‐-­ins and more. Participants will learn via personal stories, opportunities to examine local challenges, opportunities for sharing, big ideas, brainstorming, self-­‐assessments and individual and group exploration.

WORKSHOP LEADER S: Amy Mizialko, Amy Daroszeski, Judy Gundry

Amy Mizialko is a nineteen-­‐year veteran of Milwaukee Public Schools and currently works as a mentor for new teachers. She holds her Ph.D. in Urban Education from The University of Wisconsin. She is an active member of her union, The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, who has worked to organize teachers, parents and community members to fight layoffs in Milwaukee and the stripping of union bargaining rights in Wisconsin.

Amy Daroszeski is a local activist and a high school English teacher at Rufus King International School in Milwaukee. She serves as the Gay/Straight Alliance faculty advisor and the Amnesty International/ACLU


faculty advisor, as well. She has just been elected, by her colleagues, to serve as Head Building Representative (Union Steward). She also teaches Education courses part-­‐time at the University of

Wisconsin-­‐-­‐Milwaukee. Her academic areas of study include queer pedagogy, methods of anti-­‐oppressive education, and teaching literary theory in the high school classroom. She founded and co-­‐owned Broad Vocabulary, Milwaukee’s feminist bookstore, in addition to founding several other queer and feminist local organizations.

Judy Gundry, an educator for 26 years, is a New Teacher Mentor for Milwaukee Public Schools. As a member of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, she has worked to fight the effort to strip unions of collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. In the summer of 2010, Judy helped to coordinate several events to bring attention to the 482 teachers who were laid off from the district.

C.7 How the New “Corporate Reforms” are Harming Young Children

Graduate Research Center (GRC, in Library)

In this workshop, we’ll explore how corporate education reform ignores the needs and development of young children and how this affects them and the early childhood community. We will talk about what children today really need in learning settings, how we can help them, and how we can unite and advocate for young children in these perilous times.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Diane Levin & Nancy Carlsson Paige

Nancy Carlsson-­Paige is Professor Emerita at Lesley University where she taught teachers for more than 30 years and was a founder of the University’s Center for Peaceable Schools. Nancy has written and spoken extensively about the impact of violence, especially in the media, on children’s lives and social development, and how children learn the skills for caring relationships and positive conflict resolution. She is the author and co-­‐author of five books and has written numerous articles on media violence, conflict resolution, and peaceable classrooms. Her most recent book is called Taking Back Childhood. Nancy has received numerous awards for her leadership and advocacy in peace and early childhood education, including the Robert F. Kennedy Legacy Award.

Diane E. Levin, PhD is Professor of Education at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts for over 25 years where she teaches courses on play, media, and peace building with young children for which she takes students to Belfast, Northern Ireland to look at the peace process underway in schools there. A former public school teacher, Diane is the author of eight books including: So Sexy So Soon, The War Play Dilemma, Remote Control Childhood and Teaching Young Children in Violent Times. She is a founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-­‐Free Childhood (CCFC) and Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment TRUCE.

C.8 Everyone Has a Story: Self-­Publishing Student Writing

Training & Events Room, Library First Floor

Each of the participants will go through the process of “writing their story” as a modeling technique which they can use as they see appropriate. The workshop will consist of storytelling, plotting, brain-­‐storming, collaborative editing which will produce a brief “story” which each of the participants, time permitting, will read at the end of the session. I will also provide information as to how to self-­‐publish students’ stories. (I have several collections of their work to show.) I have done such workshops with students and in a two-­‐hour session they have been able to produce something of their own.


Joel Shatzky is a semi-­‐retired college English teacher who taught at a teacher’s college, SUNY Cortland, for 37 years. He wrote a book entitled “The Thinking Crisis” with Ellen Hill (Authors Choice Press, 2001) on the problems of critical thinking in high school and college teaching. Although he taught in the English department, he frequently conducted classes in teaching methods for student teachers. He writes a blog for Huffington Post, “Educating for Democracy,” and remains active by teaching at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.


C .9 Delivering Your Values-­Based Message Part 1

NOTE: This is part 1 of a two-­‐part workshop. Participants need NOT attend one part in order to attend the other. (Part 2 is session D.11)

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B13

Our core values are what drive each of us to take action. By talking about public education and education policy from a values-­‐based perspective, you’ll be able to move more people to take action. Learning to speak about values such as equality, fairness, and opportunity can create more support for education issues that you care about. In this interactive session, you will learn some tools and approaches to developing a persuasive, values-­‐based message that will resonate with a wide variety of audiences. You’ll have an opportunity to explore your core values that drive your work, and use those values to create a strong cohesive message that you can adapt for a variety of audiences.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Beth Meyer, Larry Sakin

Beth Meyer is the Vice President of State Operations for the Center for Progressive Leadership (CPL), a national non-­‐partisan, non-­‐profit organization, dedicated to identifying and training a diverse pool of emerging progressive leaders working to advance progressive policy and values in their communities, state and the country. She conducts trainings such as: Political Leaders Fellowship, New Leaders Program, Local Progressive Candidate Training Program and Civic Engagement Academy. CPL is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining CPL, Beth served as the Vice President for Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona. She sits on the Board of Directors for Arizona Advocacy Network and served on the Boards of the Arizona ACLU, Defenders of Children, Community AIDS Council, Phoenix Day School, NARAL, and the American Jewish Committee.

Larry Sakin is co-­‐founder and board Vice President of Hudspeth Energy Co-­‐Op, a wind energy farm in West Texas; and founder of the Sakin Foundation, a group working to enhance the perception of public schools in the State of Arizona. He is the co-­‐author of a citizen’s initiative on elections for the 2012 ballot. Larry is Vice President of the Board for Dancing in the Streets Arizona, a ballet program for under-­‐ privileged youth. He is a member for the Southern Arizona First Things First Early Childhood Education Communications Committee. In 2010, he worked passionately for the passage of Proposition 100, which raised the sales tax a half cent for funding public education, and against Proposition 302, which would have diverted state funds designated for early childhood education and health programs into the state general fund.

C.10 Naming Problems, Brainstorming Possibilities: NCLB, Disproportionality, and English Language Learners

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B 14

N o Child Left Behind (NCLB) implements Type 1 assessments (i.e., multiple choice and short answer format testing) and attaches high stakes to testing in ways that produce unintended negative consequences. Among those negative consequences are (a) the exacerbation of the disproportionality problem in public schools for too many youth identified as Black, Latino, and impoverished; and (b) the exacerbation of the inequity problem experienced by too many English Language Learners (ELLs) in public schools. This workshop highlights how NCLB exacerbates those two problems, and it necessitates audience participation through a 5-­‐step collaborative problem-­‐solving activity. Working in small groups with wall-­‐size post-­‐it notes, participants will address problematic relationships among NCLB, disproportionality, and ELLS by: (a) creating lists of the multiple perspectives/constituents, (b) considering challenges and opportunities linked to those multiple perspectives/con stituents, (c) brainstorming strategies/approaches, (d) developing 2-­‐3 key solutions, and (d) naming/predicting future outcomes that may arise as a result of identified solutions.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Dr. Sherick Hughes, Dr. Paul C. Gorski, and Dr. Maria Austria

Dr. Sherick Hughes, Lead Facilitator, is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Maryland (UMD), where he teaches courses, including advanced research methods. He has numerous articles and book chapters and three books. The first book earned Hughes a 2007 Critics’ Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association. In 2008, he was named by educators at Elizabeth City State University to be among the promising young leaders in his field. Most

recently, Hughes was selected as 1 of 10 faculty members for the UMD Center for Teaching Excellence Lilly Fellowship in order to pursue collaborative critical thinking and problem-­‐solving in the area of cultural competence and leadership.

Dr. Paul C. Gorski Co-­Facilitator, is an assistant professor of Integrative Studies in George Mason University’s New Century College, where he teaches classes including Equity and Diversity in Education and Social Justice Education. He is the founder of EdChange (http://www.edchange.org), an organization created to provide educational equity workshops for schools; and to design free educational equity resources for educators. Gorski has worked with schools in 46 states and five countries.

Dr. Maria Dolores “Joie” N. Austria, Co-­ Facilitator, is an ESOL Instructional Coach in Teacher Leadership and Professional Development in a local public school district. Although she has been in the U.S. for most of the past five years teaching ESL and coaching ESL teachers, she continues to work with adolescents, preservice teachers, and in-­‐service teachers at a school she founded over 14 years ago in her native home, the Philippines.

C.11 Precious Knowledge

NOTE: This is a film. The session will be devoted to viewing and discussing.

Ward 5

The documentary Precious Knowledge illustrates what motivates Tucson High School students and teachers to form the front line of an epic civil rights battle. While 48 percent of Mexican American students currently drop out of high school, Tucson High’s Mexican American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 93 percent, on average, of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college. However, Arizona lawmakers are trying to shut the program down because they believe the students are being indoctrinated with dangerous ideology and embracing destructive ethnic chauvinism. Precious Knowledge recently screened at the San Diego Latino Film Festival where the stars received a standing ovation and the film was awarded with the “Audience Favorite” and also a “Special Jury Award.” Juan Caceres, Director of Programming for the New York International Latino Film Festival says, “Precious Knowledge broke my heart and moved me to tears. It is one of the most beautiful and important films ever and should not be missed!” Jeff Biggers of the Huffington Post says of teacher Curtis Acosta: “His role ranks as one of the best documentary film portraits of a successful public educator ever made.”

Eren Isabel McGinnis has produced 19 movies including POV’s Tobacco Blues, The Girl Next

Door (shortlisted for an Oscar!), Beyond the Border, The Spirituals, and Dos Vatos-­México. She has a degree in Cultural Anthropology from San Diego State University, and a certificate in Film and Video Theory and Production from the University College Dublin, in Ireland. McGinnis, a Fulbright scholar, spent a year of living, writing, and filmmaking in Juchitán, México. During the production of Precious Knowledge, she filmed an entire school year to capture the innovative social justice curriculum of the Mexican American Studies program.

Host: Curtis Acosta.

Curtis Acosta is an educator and critical pedagogue. Curtis has been an instrumental part in helping create the largest Mexican American Studies high school program in the United States. It is a program centered on student empowerment, anti-­‐racist, multicultural curriculum with a social justice emphasis. He recently completed his 16th year of teaching in TUSD and 14th year at Tucson High Magnet School, of which the last seven years he developed and has taught Chicano Literature and Social Justice Literature. He is one of the 11 teachers who are plaintiffs in a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Arizona’s

“anti-­‐ethnic studies” law.

C.12 Government Relations: The Nuts and Bolts of Lobbying

Ward 6

Specific ways to develop a legislative advocacy program in your state. Participants will learn how to run a “lobby day,” establish and maintain productive relationships with policymakers, and track legislation and respond to policy initiatives. We will also practice the art of effective office visits and consider how building networks can strengthen our position.


WORKSHOP LEADERS: Nseabasi Ufot & Brian Turner

Nse Ufot is the Government Relations Officer for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Nsé monitors and analyzes legislation that is relevant to the AAUP’s mission at both the federal and state levels. She is also responsible for building and maintaining relationships with policymakers, elected officials, their staffs, and other higher education organizations in order to inform and influence policy decisions. Born in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Ufot earned a BSc in Applied Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Dayton.

Brian Turner is a professor of Political Science at Randolph-­‐Macon College and chair of the AAUP’s Committee on Government Relations.

Friday July 29

D. TIMESLOT 1:45-­3:45 p.m.

D.1 Crafting New Narratives of the Teaching Profession

Conference Room in Gray Hall

Increasingly frustrated with the how teachers, teachers’ unions, and public education were being portrayed in the media, in 2009 teacher leaders from the St. Paul Federation of Teachers (Minnesota) and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) gathered for a series of meetings with the purpose of changing that dominant narrative. Through the meetings and some small group work, a new narrative was developed reflecting the real story about teachers and why they do the work they do every day. This narrative has become a tool that guides both locals through all of their work throughout the year—from negotiations to professional development to establishing partnerships in the community. In this session you will be introduced to this narrative and engaged in a discussion around it. We will then discuss deeper the process used to develop it, and give some time for you to work out a plan for starting the same process in your community.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Nick Faber, Mary Cathryn Ricker

Nick Faber is an elementary science specialist at John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary in St. Paul, MN. He is an officer at the St. Paul Federation of Teachers and a National Board Certified Teacher. Mary Cathryn Ricker is a National Board Certified middle school English teacher currently serving as president of the St. Paul (MN) Federation of Teachers. She has been active in the National and Minnesota Council of Teachers of English, the National and Minnesota Writing Project and currently serves on the Board of Directors of TakeAction Minnesota, a statewide-­‐grassroots progressive action organization.

D.2 Winning the Testing War

Ward 4

What’s wrong with high-­‐stakes testing and what we should do instead? Our process will include: an interactive overview of major problems with testing, including massive overuse; grade retention (in Chicago); high school graduation tests; and using test scores to evaluate teachers and schools and to control teaching and learning. We’ll offer a brief presentation and discussion of better ways to assess and use assessments, such as looking at students work, sampling, local and state quality reviews, and safe ways to use assessments in the overall evaluation of teachers, students, and schools. Small group brainstorming will focus on strategies to win the testing war, effective messaging, sharing what’s working across the country, and sharing practical information about the feasibility of high-­‐quality assessment with friends, colleagues, legislators, and the general public.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Monty Neill, Julie Woestehoff


Monty Neill, Ed.D., is Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) and Chair of the Forum on Educational Accountability. He has led FairTest’s work on testing in the public schools since 1987. He has initiated and led national and state coalitions to work toward fundamental change in the assessment of students and in accountability.

Julie Woestehoff is the executive director of Chicago-­‐based Parents United for Responsible Education and a co-­‐founder of Parents Across America. Julie’s work on key education issues like high-­‐stakes testing and school governance has earned her a Ford Foundation leadership award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago. She’s a veteran local school council member and the proud parent of two Chicago Public Schools graduates.

D.3 Meeting of Save Our Schools Information Coordinators

Ward 5

If you are interested in becoming a Save Our Schools Information Coordinator for your state or in helping out in a state that already has an Information Coordinator please join this Information Coordinators’ meeting. We will be brainstorming and prioritizing the action steps we will take when we return home after the days in D.C. Information coordinators from many states will be present for this session.

In order to find out ifyour state has an Information Coordinator, go to our website at www.saveourschoolsmarch.org and waitfor the map to come up in the rotating box on the landing page. When you see it, click on it and wait for the updated map to show up. When it does, you can tell which states still need Information Coordinators.

WORKSHOP LEADER: Katherine McBride Cox

Katherine McBride Cox, who grew up in Louisiana, initially began her teaching career as a college English instructor. She recently retired after 35 years as an educator in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where she was a classroom teacher, an elementary principal, and a high school principal. She developed a nationally recognized career education program for 5th and 6th graders called Window on the World. She taught self-­‐contained gifted students for eight years and later worked with at-­‐risk middle school students. She also served as an instructional coach, coaching other teachers in her district. She serves on the Save Our Schools March Executive Committee as chair of the Information Coordinators Committee.

D.4 Addressing Minority Communities’ Issues in Public Education

Bentley Lounge, in Gray Hall

Much has been written about the plight of our nation’s public education system, especially for minority students. Focus has been placed particularly on their low graduation rates and the growing academic and achievement gaps. This workshop is designed to provide insightful discussion among the organizations that serve these communities, and provide solutions to address these problems. Specific emphasis will be placed on (1) how minority families are coping; (2) recognizing this group’s developmental process; (3) understanding strategies for where, and how to intervene; and (4) understanding service gaps and liabilities. National experts from the fields of community to school, family advocate groups, and educational support services will explore these topics and many more.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Albert Mitchell II, Carol Simmons, Karrean Harper Royal, MoNique Holland, Walter L. Holmes, Ceresta Smith

Albert N. Mitchell II is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Minority Educational Development Inc. He is also one of the country’s most successful inner-­‐city youth program architects. His accomplishments include designing youth programs for State Health Departments, School Districts, Police Departments, and Housing Authorities. He attended the University of Rutgers, and has appeared frequently on local television shows. Mr. Mitchell is also known nationally for his skills as a market research analyst.

Carol Simmons, Ed.D is an educational consultant and has an extensive background in education and health related concepts. Dr. Simmons has her administrative and teaching certifications in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, and has taught at Lincoln University, Philadelphia Community College, and Neumann University. She is currently the Area Manager for Achieve HighPoints/Achieve Math an Online Math Tutoring provider. Dr. Simmons’ portion of the workshop is on family dynamics inclusive of single


parenting, the cost of raising a child, the blended family, parental involvement and navigating the educational dynamics within the family.

Karran Harper Royal works as an Education Advocate in New Orleans. She is the Assistant Director of Pyramid Community Parent Resource Center and the former Training Coordinator for the New Orleans Parent Organizing Network. Her work at Pyramid involves providing one to one support to parents of children with disabilities and conducting workshops to help parents understand their rights under federal special education law. In addition to working with Pyramid and New Orleans Parent Organizing Network, Mrs. Harper Royal is a contributor to Research on Reforms and provides a parent voice to the work at Southern Poverty Law Center. She is married with two sons, one of whom is a public school student in New Orleans. She blogs at Education Talk New Orleans.

M oNique Holland, M.Ed is an educational and health consultant under The Institute for Advanced Instruction and is currently an Area Manager for Achieve HighPoints/Achieve Math an Online Math Tutoring provider. She has taught grades K-­‐8 for the Philadelphia School District and Charter Schools. Ms. Holland presentation for “Addressing the Minority Community Issues in Public Education” workshop is on the value of Supplemental Education Services (SES) and how providers can make a difference in classroom performance.

Walter Holmes is a retired Air Force Colonel and is currently president of The Fifth House, Inc. (www.TheFifthHouse.com). The company specializes in planning, assessment and design of scientific­‐- based research platforms. This involves the development of web-­‐based student assessment and school management models to support a collaborative educational environment. Col. Holmes has worked as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies with an emphasis on regulatory compliance, assessment of individual performance and systems-­‐based management designs. He also has extensive experience in integrated management strategies that support a structured, community outreach model. His varied experience has culminated into a web-­‐based design model for education, a collaborative design supporting “whole-­‐person” student development.

Ceresta Smith is a teacher, union activist and leader of the 2010 sit-­‐in at the Florida Governor’s office.

D.5 Rethinking Schools/Recharging Activism

Ward 6

Rethinking Schools editors Stan Karp and Bob Peterson and author/advocate Michelle Fine will lead a discussion about teacher, parent, youth, and community activism for social justice in education. They will share their experiences with national efforts like Rethinking Schools and the National Coalition of Education Activists and state/local efforts to create schools that serve communities well, fight racism and promote social justice. How can educators, youth, and parents create the policies and conditions that make social justice education possible? How can activism help sustain us inside our flawed educational institutions while we work to transform them? What lessons do past efforts to build activist coalitions hold for current possibilities? Bring your ideas and experiences for a discussion of the ways forward after the march.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Stan Karp, Michelle Fine, Bob Peterson, Helen Gym

Stan Karp is Director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center. He taught English and journalism to high school students in Paterson, NJ for 30 years. He is an editor and frequent contributor for Rethinking Schools magazine and past co-­‐chair of the National Coalition of Education Activists.

Michelle Fine teaches at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is a founding member of the Participatory Action Research Collective and collaborates with activist youth and educator groups on education justice research, organizing and policy—K-­‐12, higher education and within prisons.

Bob Peterson teaches fifth grade at the La Escuela Fratney in Milwaukee and is a founding editor of Rethinking Schools. He is currently president of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association. Helen Gym is a parent activist from Philadelphia and associate editor of Rethinking Schools


D .6 Parents: Powerful Potential

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B12

This workshop will be devoted to helping parents understand their powerful position in the public education reform debate. Parents are in the unique position of power in this debate over public schools. In fact, if parents are organized to support their community-­‐based public schools, reformers will have limited ability to enact their desired reforms. Speaking from experience, Tim will talk about boycotting state tests, writing letters for local papers, writing for Huffington Post, running for school board, and working with local media. A major component of this workshop will also be a discussion of parents’ rights in regards to high stakes testing.


Timothy D. Slekar is a father and Associate Professor of teacher education at Penn State Altoona. He began his career in education as a 2nd grade teacher and then attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned his Ph. D. in social studies education. Dr. Slekar also co-­‐hosts a local talk radio show in central PA. The show is devoted to helping the listening audience understand the counter reform narrative in public education.

D.7 Marshall Training

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B 14

This session is for volunteer marshalls to learn how to help at the rally so it will be a positive, successful and peaceful. New volunteers are welcome in this training for the Saturday rally and march. WORKSHOP LEADER: Gordon Clark

Gordon Clark is an event organizer for SOS.

D.8 The Myths of Standardized Tests

Classroom 306 in the Library

Our workshop will cover the basic assumptions of standardized tests and how the scores are frequently misused. The presenters will involve the participants in a lively and stimulating discussion regarding how to engage school and political leaders in a productive discussion about alternative ways to assess student learning, teacher effectiveness, and school and district quality. No previous knowledge in test and measurement is required for this experience. The presenters are lifelong educators and co-­‐authors with Bruce Smith of the book, “The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don’t Tell You What You Think They Do”, published by Rowman & Littlefield in January, 2011.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Phil and Joan Harris

Phillip Harris is Executive Director of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology.

He is the former Director of the Center for Professional Development at Phi Delta Kappa International, the association for professional educators, and was a member of the faculty of Indiana University for twenty‐-­two years, serving in both the Department of Psychology and the School of Education.

Joan Harris has taught first, second, third, and multi-­‐age grades for more than twenty-­‐five years. In 1997 she was recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as the outstanding teacher of the year.

D.9 Viewing and Discussion of the film Consuming Kids

Ward 3

Consuming Kids is a powerful and disturbing film that focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world. Consuming Kids pushes back against the commercialization of childhood and raises urgent questions about the ethics of children’s marketing and its impact on the health and well­‐- being of kids.

Movie Discussant: Susan Linn

Susan Linn, Ed.D. is Director, Campaign for a Commercial-­‐Free Childhood; Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.


D.10 Making Real Reform Stick: Crafting Compelling Messages for the School Reform Debate Graduate Research Center (GRC, in Library)

Ever wondered why some ideas—however bad—gain such traction in the media and public policy conversations? Sick of feeling frustrated and stumped for a good response when these ideas pop up on the news, at the grocery store, or around the dinner table during the holidays? Interested in learning effective ways to counter bad ideas, and promote a positive, equitable vision for American public education? In this session, inspired by the insights in the book Made to Stick, we will review honest data on student achievement, the influence of socioeconomic status on achievement, and common public perceptions of education, and then learn how to make complex information more memorable and convincing for less ed­‐- savvy audiences. Participants will walk away with concrete arguments and skills that can be used immediately to help advance a progressive vision for our schools.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Marion Brady, Jim Horn, Bob Schaeffer, Sabrina Stevens Shupe

Marion Brady is a retired high school teacher, university professor, district level administrator, newspaper columnist, and consultant to publishers, states, and foundations. He has written textbooks and professional books, and blogs for the Washington Post’s “The Answer Sheet” and Truthout.org. His most recent book is What’s Worth Learning? published by Information Age Publishing, and his integrated curriculum written for middle and high school learners, Connections: Investigating Reality, can be downloaded, free, at:

http ://www.marionbrady.com/Connections-­‐InvestigatingReality-­‐ACourseofStudy.asp

Jim Horn is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA. He is also an education blogger at Schools Matter and has published widely on issues related to social justice in education.

Bob Schaeffer is a published author and media expert who has served as Public Education Director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, since its founding in 1985. He also is a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Prior to working with FairTest, he worked as an editorial writer at the NBC-­‐TV affiliate in Boston and served as Research Director of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Human Services and Elderly Affairs. He is also the media consultant for the Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action.

Sabrina Stevens Shupe is a teacher-­‐turned-­‐writer and activist who has worked with students in Philadelphia and Denver. She started the Failing Schools Project to promote first-­‐person perspectives on what it’s like to work and learn in so-­‐called “failing” schools, and she also writes for The Huffington Post. In addition to writing and speaking about education reform, she works with several education groups as well as movements like the Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action.

D.11 Developing Your Values-­Based Message -­ Part 2 (Part 1 is session C.9)

NOTE: This is part 2 of a two-­‐part workshop. Participants need NOT attend one part in order to attend the other.

Anderson Computing Complex (ACC) Room B13

A message is only as effective as its delivery. Communicating a strong message requires practice and this session will provide you with a safe, comfortable space to practice your message delivery. This interactive session will offer you the opportunity to practice delivering a 2-­‐minute message in small groups. You’ll have an opportunity to learn a messaging structure as well as learn tips for providing constructive feedback. You will be given personal writing time to prepare a 2 minute message before breaking up into small groups. Each participant will then deliver their message twice and receive structured feedback from participants and facilitators.

WORKSHOP LEADERS: Beth Meyer, Larry Sakin

Beth Meyer is the Vice President of State Operations for the Center for Progressive Leadership (CPL), a national non-­‐partisan, non-­‐profit organization, dedicated to identifying and training a diverse pool of emerging progressive leaders working to advance progressive policy and values in their communities, state and the country.


She conducts trainings such as: Political Leaders Fellowship, New Leaders Program, Local Progressive Candidate Training Program and Civic Engagement Academy. CPL is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining CPL, Beth served as the Vice President for Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona. She sits on the Board of Directors for Arizona Advocacy Network and served on the Boards of the Arizona ACLU, Defenders of Children, Community AIDS Council, Phoenix Day School, NARAL, and the American Jewish Committee.

Larry Sakin is co-­‐founder and board Vice President of Hudspeth Energy Co-­‐Op, a wind energy farm in West Texas; and founder of the Sakin Foundation, a group working to enhance the perception of public schools in the State of Arizona. He is the co-­‐author of a citizen’s initiative on elections for the 2012 ballot. Larry is Vice President of the Board for Dancing in the Streets Arizona, a ballet program for under-­‐ privileged youth; and a member for the Southern Arizona First Things First Early Childhood Education Communications Committee. In 2010, he worked passionately for the passage of Proposition 100, which raised the sales tax a half cent for funding public education, and against Proposition 302, which would have diverted state funds designated for early childhood education and health programs into the state general fund.

D.12 Educating the Whole Child

Training & Events Room, Library First Floor

When Einstein said you can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it, he indicated how deeply we need to probe in order to reform American education. This workshop assumes that the kind of thinking that created No Child Left Behind makes us lose sight of the child. If we change the discussion from “Let’s get better data,” to, “Let’s teach the whole child,” what would the school day be like for children and teachers? Not surprisingly, answers reveal the best practices that have been known to teachers for generations. This workshop will review and demonstrate whole child practices and pedagogy, using the example of language arts instruction, K-­‐12. The inherently artistic nature of teaching

self-­‐expression through language, along with the priority given these skills in today’s curriculum, provide us with an opportunity to re-­‐animate classroom instruction in our schools, and begin transforming American education from the inside-­‐out. This workshop will also show how to use different resources to activate parents in your community.

Workshop Leaders: Harold Katzoff

Howard Katzoff has taught English, social studies, drama, and math, at pre-­‐K through 12 levels, in suburban, rural, and inner city schools. As arts coordinator for 33 schools in the Bronx, he pioneered THE STARRR PROGRAM, bringing professional actors, musicians and dancers into the New York City schools as substitute teachers and teaching artists. He has taught Literacy-­‐through-­‐Drama to children of all ages. “Juan Bobo in the Bronx” and “City Mouse/Country Mouse” were two district-­‐wide literacy-­‐through-­‐the-­‐ arts projects he developed for 28 schools in District 8. A lifetime of experience has led this teacher to the conviction that best practices in education always aim to involve the whole child.

D.13 Closing the Opportunity Gap: A Critical New Movement for Education Justice McKinley

The Opportunity To Learn (OTL) Campaign is a national movement to create a stronger, safer, more prosperous America now by closing the opportunity gap in public education. The campaign connects advocates across the country to ensure every child’s fundamental civil right to a high-­‐quality public school education, regardless of where they live. The OTL Campaign seeks systemic policy change at the local, state and federal levels to hold our nation’s elected officials and education leaders accountable for providing every child access to four research-­‐proven resources that are necessary to have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn: high-­‐quality early childhood education; highly prepared and effective teachers; college preparatory curriculum; and equitable instructional materials and policies. This workshop will explore how the OTL campaign seeks to close the opportunity gap in education, why this is an essential component of the overall education justice movement, and how stakeholders across the education spectrum can and should be involved. Workshop participants will dialogue about system


challenges in their communities and brainstorm ways in which we can collectively work to close the opportunity gaps at the local, state and federal levels.

Workshop Leaders: Cassie Schwerner and Tina Dove, The Schott Foundation for Public Education Cassie Schwerner, Ph.D., is the Senior Vice President of Programs at The Schott Foundation for Public Education. Dr. Schwerner manages all Schott grant making and develops appropriate statewide strategies. Prior to joining the staff at Schott, Dr. Schwerner was a research and editorial assistant for Jonathan Kozol. She worked on Savage Inequalities, Amazing Grace, and all of Kozol’s projects over a 10-­‐year period. Additionally, she has worked as a public relations consultant and has taught courses in Mass Media and Race Relations. For 10 years, she was a member of the Media Research and Action Project, based at Boston College, which assists grassroots organizations in framing their issues for the media, as well as training them on how best to integrate media activities into their organizing efforts. Dr. Schwerner received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston College, where she specialized in social movement theory. Her dissertation, “Sing a Song of Justice,” focuses on multicultural organizing.

Tina Dove, M.Ed., is the Director of the National Opportunity to Learn (OTL) Campaign. Prior to joining to the Schott Foundation, she served as the manager of public policy for ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) and previously as the advocacy liaison and intergovernmental coordinator for the National PTA. She began her policy career on Capitol Hill working for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. She is also an experienced teacher, having taught high school social studies in the District of Columbia Public Schools, Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools, and the Redlands (Calif.) Unified School District. Dove holds a B.A. in political science and sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a M.Ed. in secondary education from the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Friday July 29

Panel Discussion

Freedom Riders & Our Lives as Activists

4 : 0 0-­5:00 p.m.

Ward 1

Student Video(s) relevant to demands and a song precede this panel.

Join us as Phoebe Ferguson and the Freedom Riders tell their stories, share their experiences and inspire the continued work of the Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action.

Phoebe Ferguson is a New Orleans native. She worked as a successful photographer and filmmaker in New York City for 20 years, before returning home, after Katrina. She now has a new life as co-­‐founder of The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation. Her special interests are ensuring equity in education and developing programs that combine history and the arts. Ms. Ferguson holds degrees from Art Center College of Design and New York University.


Friday July 29

5 : 3 0-­7:25

Conference Reception

Co-­hosted by Parents Across America

Mary Graydon Center

Open to All Conference Participants. Cost is included in your registration.

Friday July 29

7 : 3 0-­9:30

FILM: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for


Ward Building

Open to All Conference Participants. Cost is included in your registration.

SOS Film Festival

featuring outstainding movies relevant to our work.

Monday, July 25

> The People Speak 7:30 PM (ticketed event for the public) (Ward 1 Auditorium)
> Granito de Arena, 7:30 PM (ticketed event for the public) (Ward 2 Auditorium)

Tuesday, July 26

> Speaking in Tongues, 7:30 PM (ticketed event for the public) (Ward 1 and 2 Auditoriums)

Wednesday, July 27

> Race to Nowhere, 7:30 PM (ticketed event for the public) (Ward 1 and 2 Auditoriums)

Thursday, July 28

> August to June, 5:30 PM (For Save Our Schools conference attendees only, included in their registration) (Ward 1 Auditorium)

> August to June 7:30 PM (Ticketed event for the public) (Ward1 Auditorium) > TEACH, 7:30 PM (Ticketed event for the public) (Ward 2 Auditorium)

Friday, July 29

> The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, 7:30 PM (for conference attendees, included in their registration, and for the public who have purchased tickets) (Ward 1 and 2 Auditoriums)

Conference presenters and speakers at the Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action event do not speak as representatives of the SOS Executive Organizing Committee, Endorsers, or Sponsoring Organizations.


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