The Network for Public Education is alive and well after a few years of a pandemic related hiatus. The NPE is the wall of resistance and attracted about 300 people from all over the nation. We had 4 UFC candidates there. No one from Unity was there -- as expected. I mean why join the battle to defend public education, except to make pronouncement every so often?Tuesday, May 3, 2022
I'm just recovering from a weekend with some of the best activists in the nation fighthing back against Ed Deform and I'm inspired. The only other NPE conference I attended was in North Carolina in 2016, ironically in the midst of another UFT election campaign. I posted two reports then:
This conference has been delayed for two years and I was hesitant to go to what could have been - of could be - a super spreader event. But I felt I had to go. And I'm glad I did (though I did have some aches and a few other potential symptoms yesterday - better today.) I don't have the energy today to post extensively but if you want to get the flavor check out the workshops offered.
What could be better than seeing Jamaal Bowman in action? And the treat of Diane Ravitch interviewing Little Steven Van Zaant on Sunday morning? There was so much more going. And Garry Rubinstein telling the Teach for America story -- his blog is known by people all over the nation: Gary Rubinstein's Blog
I got to meet and chat a bit with David Berliner, a major voice: David Berliner - Wikipedia -- National Education Policy Center . I haven't read him yet but intend to. Collateral Damage: How High-stakes Testing Corrupts American Education
I wrote back in 2016:
How can you go wrong getting to chat with Leonie Haimson, Carol Burris, Katie Lapham, Michael Elliot, Fred Smith and so many others I am blanking on. I hung out with Beth Dimino and through her got to hang with the amazing Long Island and Westechester NYSAPE/Opt-Out leaders like Terry Kalb, Lisa Rudley, Jeannette Deutermann.
Many of the same people were there. I had dinner with Leonie Friday night and we had a big crew hang out Saturday night at a Mexican restaurant and then the hotel bar where we witnessed Leonie's birthday at midnight. Leonie wrote on FB:
Thank you all! I had a great birthday at the annual Network for Public Education - NPE conference in Philly, getting drunk Sat. night with friends Lisa Platt-Rudley Jeanette Brunelle Deutermann Norm Scott Gary Rubinstein Jake Jacobs & others; then coming home Sunday on the train with Diane Silvers Ravitch.
Gary and Jake and Katie Lapham who was there are all candidates on the UFC slate -- fighters for public education. Need I tell you no Unity people were at the conference.
These conferences are as much about making connections to build networks of resistance. I heard people from many states and even a guy who works for a Canadian teacher union and learned about the amazing organizing they are doing to fight back for public education. The clear message of the conference was that the deformers with right wing and Republican support are coming for the public schools and we are at the inflection point.
Here are just a few of the photos I took.
|From Fred Smith who heroically drove down Saturday morning for the day.|