Gearing Up for Save Our School Convention DC 2012

The following was cross posted at @ the chalk face.

Last year, Save Our Schools hosted a phenomenal conference in Washington DC. I wrote about my experiences there here, here, and here. Like-minded people from across the country coalesced around their distrust of policies that make no sense when you see them through the eyes of those they're supposed to serve: students. Privatization, school-choice, Teach for America, the dismantling of unions and collective bargaining, standardized testing, NCLB's labeling of and punitive response to "failing schools" - they all represent an acute threat to our traditional notion of public education, our inclination to strive for true equality of opportunity, and democracy.

When I first began my foray into teaching, I understood none of this. To be honest, I thought the people who said the kinds of things I wrote in the previous paragraph were overreacting, maybe a little off their rocker. But then I taught in Washington, DC; and then New York City. And I witnessed first hand the destructive effects of these policies on school children in large urban districts where politics are ubiquitously palpable, and people eat bees and play with test scores to make a name for themselves.

So whether you're just beginning your career in education (as a pre-service teacher, or as a counselor), you have a child in public education, you've been working in schools for thirty years, or you're a member of the general public who cares about democracy and education (because in education, everybody is a stakeholder); and you have August 3rd-5th open on your calender; I highly recommend you attend the convention this year.

The energy I took from last year's gathering helped me through this past year of teaching. It increased my awareness and provided me with ideas on how to better engage my students, staff, and community around the good fight for social justice.

Videos and blog postings will undoubtedly be available after it's over, but nothing compares to the experience of being there. There's a good chance it will change the way you see public education and its mission.

Hope to see you there!


  1. I look forward to seeing you there. Thanks for this excellent post.

  2. Keep spreading the word. I have a Seattle wedding so unfortunately i will not be able to be there, but I will be there in spirit.

  3. Thank you James. I hope to meet you in DC.
    Jesse The Walking Man Turner

  4. I hope all of you are joining us in the Save Our Schools Webinars prior to the conference as well.

    Tonight will be a big night for Save Our Schools as we gear up with three events tonight:

    We have a FULL night of Save Our Schools on Tuesday, July 17th

    ---> Rita Solnet , Co-Founder of Parents Across America Say: Put the Parent Voice Back in Public Education! has graciously agreed to do our Live Twitter #SOSchat one hour later on July 17th to accommodate the #SOSWebinar. Rita will be discussing how to successfully organize between parents/teachers/students/unions and how to fight back Parent Trigger.

    The Save Our Schools Webinar moderated by Michael Klonsky -->

    Building a United Fighting Teachers Union…
    with Parent and Community Support
    with Karen Lewis and Jitu Brown
    Dr. Michael Klonsky Moderates the Conversation
    July 17, 2012
    9 PM Eastern Daylight Time [EDT}
    Please Join Us!

    Register HERE:

    Join The Frustrated Teacher #SOSchat Radio [ blog-talk-radio ] -
    at 5 pm PT, #SOSWebinar at 6 pm PT, and #SOSchat at 7 pm PT - Listen and JOIN in HERE:


    Tee F Tee at 8 pm EDT, #SOSWebinar at 9 pm EDT, and Rita as Guest on #SOSchat at 10 pm EDT — with @Rita Colleen.

    And of course, your readers can register for the Save Our Schools Convention in Washington, DC featuring key note speakers: Shanta Driver, Deb Meier, Jonathan Kozol, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, and Rose Sanders!

    The convention is August 3-5, register right here:

    Please join us for the "gearing up" tonight and the convention in August!

  5. Looking forward to seeing you all there!


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