Thursday, June 23, 2011

SOS March in Washington July 28-31 - GEM Participation

Members of the Grassroots Education Movement are excited to be participating in the SOS march and activities in Washington from July 28-July31. Our film will have a double concurrent showing on the evening of July 29 at American University, the night before the big march. We also found out that cites around the nation are supporting the event with their own activities. Our film will be shown on July 30 in Las Vegas and Tuscon. Here is an update from Julie Cavanagh, who is coordinating for GEM:

This week Diane Ravitch wrote a piece detailing why she is marching with the Save Our School Coalition this July:  (Please share widely)

The weekend in DC, with the march set for Saturday, July 30th, is shaping up to be an exciting event with real education reformers from around the country lined up to give workshops and speak and there will be a film series as well:

The Grassroots Education Movement will be there presenting a workshop on Thursday, July 28th on building grassroots power and parent-teacher-student- community partnerships and our film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, will be screened twice on Friday evening.
Please consider attending the SOS march.  Visit the site, donate to the cause, and hope to see you there in July!

GEM has a committee working on plans for the march.  If there is anything we can do to support you in your plans to attend please let us know.  We are working on organizing a NYC contingent, more information to come.  In the meantime, Amtrak is offering discounts for the weekend of the march.  The information is below, make your reservation now!

To all SOS WASHINGTON DC Marchers:  Get a discount on your trip!!


Amtrak will offer a 10% discount off the best available
rail fare to ( Washington , DC ) between (July 25, 2011 – August 03, 2011).

To book a reservation call: Amtrak at 1 (800) 872-7245.

Ask for: Save Our Schools March Convention Rate-X08H - 929.


1 comment:

rick ackerly said...

Take Back our Schools. What Would that Look Like?

School systems are systems, and they are bound by their systemness. Devotion to standards, measurable outcomes, public accountability and so on are necessary cornerstones of a public system committed to serving all the people. Arguments about the shape of those cornerstones are distractions from conversations by parents and teachers in the business of taking back schools to serve the needs of each individual child. Adults who care about children need to give to the system what is the system’s and to the child what is the child’s.

In my Children’s Bill of Rights children have a right to be treated as if they are already—by age 5—experienced authors, storytellers, researchers, problem-solvers, inventors, scientists, artists, athletes, friends and collaborators. This is what it means to respect their humanity. A child has a right to have one or more adults take responsibility for helping with that. If more than one adult, then they absolutely have to work together.

Therefore, the focus of all parents and teachers should be what it naturally is; i.e. to create the conditions which will to bring out, develop, discipline, and focus these natural tendencies to learn and to engage in the never-ending job making something of themselves in the world. That is the essence of the Socratic Oath of an educator. The academic disciplines are built-in necessities—not only for the school system, but also for leading a productive life. However they must be taught in the context of a community of learners with the core assumption that we are all engaged in naturally meaningful and joyful activity.

Standardized tests are a systemic necessity; that’s fine. Research shows that students who have an educator for a teacher perform better on standardized tests than those who are stuck with a mere pedant, or worse those who teach to the test, or worst those who just go through the motions. What is malpractice is mistaking the test for education. There is nothing whatsoever educational about a standardized test. A test score is just a marker and not a very good one.

Adults, unite. Stop talking about the needs of the system, and empower parents and teachers to do what their integrity requires: do whatever it takes to bring out the best in each individual child. Make sure that the humans working with individual children are working for them, and not following some systemic mandate. Our Socratic oath requires it.