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was held the last two days at American University.  It is the main reason you have not seen me around this site much.  During the conference I was doing a lot of live-tweeting, especially of the speeches by Jonathan Kozol and Diane Ravitch.

It was a fascinating gathering of 400+ people.  There were the well-known educational activists - others of note were Deborah Meier, Mike Klonsky, Michelle Fine, Bob Peterson, Stan Karp and others.  There were ordinary teachers.  Parent groups were heavily represented.  Two people who left Teach for America to get properly trained as teachers were part of a panel that included John Affeldt who won the 9th Circuit case that panicked TFA which thereupon got the definition of highly qualified teacher to include their recruits with only 5 weeks training.  Also on the panel were Dave Greene and Barbara Veltri who both used to work with TFA candidates, and Janet Grossbach Mayer who has taught at various levels for 51 years, including in schools in the Bronx full of poverty.  

I few more comment below the fold.

This was preparation.  It brought us together, many meeting one another for the first time, having previously known one another only electronically.  In the evening we had social gatherings.  We networked.  We learned from one another.  We gained courage from one another.

And we became even more determined to Save Our Schools.

Tomorrow is the March.  We will begin with entertainment at the E street side of the Ellipse at 10 AM.  Around Noon we will transition, and shortly thereafter I will introduce Linda Darling-Hammond as the first of our notable speakers.  

Shortly after 2, after all our speakers, and some video on the jumbotron, the thousands of marchers will step off for a march around the White House.

The March, which we invite you to join, is a high point, but not the end.  It is not even the end of the beginning, for the following day we will return to American U for a Congress as we plan for how we go forward.

How many will come?  We do not know.  We know of groups of buses, of people coming by train and plane.

Today Ernie Rambo arrived. She teaches in Las Vegas.  She had returned to her suburban Philadelphia HS for the 80th birthday of a beloved former teacher, and she ran - from Suburban Philadelphia to American U.  This follows in the footsteps of Jesse Turner, who last summer walked from Connecticut to DC.

Teachers and parents are coming together.

We will no longer stand by as our public schools are being destroyed - by too many meaningless tests, by, attacks on schools and their teachers, by those who seek to profit from the tax dollars spend on education.

We includes parents and university professors as well as K-12 teachers.

It also includes students, such as the New Freedom Riders, who came by bus from New Orleans, sponsored through the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation, who culminated the conference with their energy and passion, which I assure you is contagious.

I am tired.  I have not slept much in the past few days.  My fingers are sore from all the live-tweeting.

But I am also energized. I am honored to have been a part of the team that has helped put this together.

Join us if you can tomorrow.

We may just be saving public education, without which we cannot hope to save democracy.

Peace.

but also justice, passion, democracy.

Originally posted to teacherken on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 06:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by Teachers Lounge and Education Alternatives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tomorrow I will live my computer at home (10+ / 0-)

    and I will leave the live tweeting to others.  People will use their cellphones and perhaps their tablets.  The key hashtag is #SosMarch -  there should be dozens if not hundreds using it.

    And me?  I will start my day with breakfast with an important producer of an important educational film.  I will then be on/around the ellipse for the next 7 hours or so. Then to some celebrations.

    Wish us well.  This is important.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 06:55:07 PM PDT

  •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD, 3goldens, thomask

    and Good Luck. Stay hydrated. You are doing important work.

    "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

    by Maggie Pax on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 07:09:47 PM PDT

  •  thanks 2 those who are reading (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    even more thanks to those who are sharing  

    couldn't ask for more

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 07:26:50 PM PDT

  •  and now heading for sleep (0+ / 0-)

    only 14 hours past 3 nights

    need to have some rest for tomorrow

    be well

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 07:35:58 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the tweets (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Kaib, tardis10, teacherken

    and everything else! Yes, others will surely step forward on Saturday to keep us informed. I intend to send tweets/pics from our event in Seattle, 9 PM your time, so keep those phones/computers on into your evening.

    A walkabout... can't help but think of my last DC protest, with half a million, May, 1970 (invasion of Cambodia). An extremely hot/humid day. I and many others took a dip in the Lincoln Memorial Pool, a la Forest Gump, was herded around by police on Vespas, was blown away as Abbie Hoffman walked right by me, walked though clouds of teargas the next morning.

    I think the energy and outrage is much the same now. Except most of the folks at the sos march aren't 19.

    But maybe there will be a few...

    who will remember being in a room with Diane Ravitch, listening to Jonathan Kozol, or shaking hands with Ken Bernstein...

  •  I'll be there tomorrow! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken

    Looking forward to it, despite being outside in heat that's fit for neither man nor beast.

    I just need to make sure I get home to NW DC and hop in a nice cold shower before my next commitment...

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