[See my live tweets below the fold]
A new star rose in the firmament
The only logic for having Alter on this panel was that NBC had to make its sponsors happy by having a voice for ed deform to counter what real teachers who are not ed deformers but real reformers might say. Tonight, the sponsors didn't get their monies' worth. Jenna Bush (yes, THAT BUSH) had to rescue him from the audience by finding a TFAer who defended the org vehemently, followed by an ed deform Supt from Idaho who bragged about getting rid of tenure and putting in merit pay. But what would you expect from Bush's daughter?
The word was that NBC was totally embarrassed by the criticism last year over their one-sided case for ed deform - they are partners with Gates at MSNBC - and tried to get better balance.
Jamie Fidler has been co-chapter leader at her school and is now working with the Real Reformers in the progressive activist groups in NYC, especially with Teachers Unite. Thus she was perfect to be on the panel. She also lights up the screen whenever she is on. Look for her to emerge this year as a new voice in the ed wars on the Real Reformer side.
At the end of the event I told Alter what I thought about him. Hope I ruined his karma. I also ran into E4E's Sydney Morris (who I waved to when she went in) on the way out. Sydney always says hello. But then I noticed a sour looking Evan, who glared at me, walking the obligatory 2 steps behind his leader. Guess he didn't care for my comment calling Sydney the brains of the outfit. At least she recognizes that I know what I'm talking about. [BTW South Bronx School takes a big shot at E4E today.] I heard from a teacher in Kansas City today that E4E had packed the teacher forum during the day - where is GEM she asked? GEMers do have better things to do than waste time at these events on a Sunday.
I was there with a press pass along with Brian Jones who teaches at Jamie's school and we passed out some copies of The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman to some press people and to Dave Eggers who made "American Teacher." Brian and I sat in the special blogging section in the back and ate popcorn and other goodies they gave us.
I actually like the movie better the 2nd time. When I saw it in May I reacted to the overwhelming money theme which I think distorted some of the message. But this time the other positive issues like the work teachers really do came through. That is why I like the Chicago Teacher Union people who go to malls and other public spaces and do Maulins - where teachers gather on Sundays or in the evenings to work on lesson plans and mark papers in public to show people what they really do.
I have a pass for tomorrow afternoon where I may get to tape a press conference of parents who Dennis Walcott is trying to ban from a panel he is on. Negotiations are going on to balance that panel or there will be more embarrassment for NBC.
I copied and pasted my tweets - you have to read them in reverse order. It was the first event I tweeted at - not my fave way of reporting. See below the fold: