Workshop & Panel Presentations

The weekend of August 3 through 5th will include various actions workshops, collaborative think sessions, and panel discussions on a wide range of topics. Some of the sessions from which you will be able to choose are listed below. Adjustments to this list are now, only occasional. Nonetheless, for the most part this is the final program.

  • Opting Out of High Stakes Testing: Why & How. Described.
  • Becoming an Information Coordinator for Save Our Schools. Described.
  • Principle Writing Workshops. Described.
  • Raising Our Voices; How to Organize Effectively. Described.
  • Assessments – The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  • Organizing to Overhaul Testing and Accountability. Described.
  • Teacher’s Unions, Teachers’ Rights, Teachers’ Voices. Described.
  • Organizing – Student Voice for Advocacy. Described.
  • School Resegregation & Border Crossing in the Classroom. Described.
  • ELLs, Bilingual Education, & Battling Disproportionality in Schools
  • Naming Problems, Brainstorming Possibilities: NCLB/ESEA, Poverty, Race & Disproportionality. Described.
  • How [Some] African Americans & Civil Rights Leaders Got on the Wrong Side of the Ed. Reform. Described.
  • Privatizing Schools=Teaching Creationism, Demeaning Women, and Saying No To Sex Education. Described.
  • Rethinking Schools: Education Activism for Social Justice. Described.
  • Corporate Education Reforms Winners and Losers. Described.
  • What’s Wrong with No Child Left Behind and How You Can Lobby Congress to Overhaul It Now. Described
  • The Top Ten Lies Education Reformers Tell You. Described.
  • Why America’s Public Schools are the Best Places for Our Kids. Facts Every Citizen Should Know and Strategies For Disseminating Them. Described.
  • School Diversity: Building a Movement for Racial and Socioeconomic Integration. Described.

Please also consider a cinematic experience. The film Dying To Teach will be shown on Friday evening, after the keynote.

Please Join us to adopt a People’s Principles! Help us craft policy positions that reflect the will of the people on the most urgent issues facing public education. Let’s use this meeting as a chance to have our voices heard as this nation head towards November’s elections.

We expect hundreds of people from around the country. We welcome parents, pupils, people of all professions and persuasions. Please come to D.C. and assist us in crafting the message. Together we will adopt a progressive set of Principles [planks] to present to both parties in time for their upcoming conventions.


[Subscribers Fee $175.]
To Register and help us pay for the People’s Education Convention, please travel through the PayPal button displayed on the right side of this announcement.

You will be asked to complete a Registration Form as well provide billing information. We thank you for your participation and commitment to the Authentic Education Reform cause.

Additionally, if you choose, contribute to our Scholarship Fund. We hope to help bring student activists to the Convention. After all, who knows more about what the young need than our youth.

10 thoughts on “2012 Workshop and Panel Presentations

  1. Ken Derstine

    I am concerned about the title for “How African Americans & Civil Rights Leaders Got on the Wrong Side of the Ed. Reform”

    Stereotyping a group of people is always wrong. There are many African Americans in Philadelphia who are very clear that charters are not in their interest. One African-American megachurch help a meeting a the end of May of almost 3000 people and people were overwhelmingly hostile to “Ed. Reform.”

    Wouldn’t it be better to focus on the bogus claim by the Ed. Reformers that they are the next civil rights movement?

    Leaders of this workshop should read this article:
    Why Isn’t Closing 40 Philadelphia Public Schools National News? Where Is the Black Political Class?

  2. Stephen Stollmack

    There is a glaring problem with what I see: it is organized by educators for educators and not with an interest for seeking public support at the local level. For example, I don’t see any workshop devoted on advising non-educators (activist parents and others) on how to educate others parents (and teachers) about dire issues of Obama education reform and the replacing of teaching with preparing for tests or on what is going on in their school districts (budget reductions, teachers fired, charter schools funded, costs, etc.) and how to go about getting this information and like a model report (sample graphs etc) that would be suitable for distribution to School Boards, PTA meetings or wherever. You need to connect with the rest of the 99% who are sick about what is happening to this country.

    • Monty Neill

      I hope and expect that the session I am leading will address community needs as well as educators needs. That will depend in large part on who participates. If you think there are ways I can make more clear that educators and ‘non-educators’ are welcome to engage in the discussions, I can do that. I was assuming, perhaps erroneously, that the topics were not specific for professional educators.

    • Ruth Rodriguez

      Stephen, I welcome your concerns and want to assure you that this topic will be highly discussed; and we have organized it so that participants (parents, community advocates, etc.) will have the opportunity to address this important topic leading to a united voice on the best strategy that will result in the greatest success, As co-Chair of the Family and Community Involvement workshop rest assure that we will be making this topic one of the highlight of the Convention.

    • Ms Caitlin B. Casement

      I agree with you 100%! I’ve started a movement for retired and former teachers to speak out about the reality of our education system today. We’ve got to work diligently to change the tone of our current conversation about public education, but the unions, having been discredited so completely, aren’t able to make that case for us anymore. In addition, classroom teachers, besides being overwhelmed with just keeping their heads above water with the work and pressure, get accused of being self-serving when they try to raise the issues that impact their students as well as make their jobs more and more difficult. As X Teachers, we’re free from both of those constraints–we have nothing at stake. My goal is to show the public that some of our children aren’t being given access to the same high-quality education available in other parts of the country. I believe if the American people see, really see, the inequities in our system, they’ll get behind efforts to change it. We’ve got to stop talking to each other and start talking to them.

  3. Server Post author

    Dear Ken Derstine…
    We thank you for your comment and consideration. Indeed, Karran Harper Royal, the Presenter of “How African Americans & Civil Rights Leaders Got on the Wrong Side of the Ed. Reform” reviewed your statement, read the article you shared, and adjusted the title.

    Karran, whose personal story reflects the realities she will address in this presentation, is a powerful one. It may help explain why she thought to speak to such a sensitive subject. We are grateful for your response. [I personally love what evokes greater thought and a deeper conversation.] As you may discover and discuss if you choose to attend the session, informed as this caring parent was, Karran Harper Royal was swayed by messages that seemed more than reasonable.

    As many Moms and Dads, “African Americans and Civil Rights Leaders,” and people of every persuasion, Karran believed she was doing what was best for her child. Conventional wisdom is powerful and persuasive. Yet, at times we discover…or at least some do. Thus, the need for this conversation. Oh, what we learn when we broach the topics some think taboo. or just never knew to discuss.

    Again, we thank you for your awareness and thoughts. Information is inspiration.

  4. Stephen Stollmack

    I have been meeting with some local activists and teachers who are all outraged at what they are trying to do to our Education System. We are not within the system (not active teachers or administrators) but we want to support SOS; we may chip in to have one person come from Phoenix (from our group) to your conference. We fear for the loss of the last connection that Americans have to a sense of community and pride and control over the destinies of their children. Many feel that schools could be the place where Americans could be taught to ‘care-for-each-other’ rather than be consumed with what we possess and now it looks like our schools are being taken from us.
    We are anxious to get started doing something now. Can you give us any advise or tie us into some local groups who are already taking action around the country. Should we reproduce the Pledge to Opt Out and distribute it in malls, at schools, and elsewhere — I mean has that proven to be effective in other places? Should we try to contact school boards? Can you recommend any materials that we could hand out or talks we could give or places we should be contacting. We have talked about distributing material which shows how our schools have been compromised already: the rate at which experienced teachers have been fired and replaced with TFA’s and other inexperienced teachers; the growth of Charter schools; the use of vouchers to send children to religious-based schools in areas where the state has closed so called ‘low-performing’ schools; the inefficiencies, the cronyism, etc. Is there any one doing any of this community educating that you know of or are we essentially all on our own? There is a diverse range of beliefs about what is going on and it often takes a lot of thought and organization to expose what is really going on. Can you help; tell us what we can do.

  5. Shirley Rickett

    I would echo what Stephen Stollmack has said in representing his group. I have no group, but I did suggest in my essay that a speaker’s bureau be created and none too soon. Stephen sounds well-informed on the issues and what better speakers than concerned, informed parents and retired teachers (like me) who can compare education movements and who have a sense of education history? Book speaking engagements at PTA meetings, at potlucks, at small meetings in homes, at community events where appropriate. Maybe even at the Mall. Conservatives speak about their values and liberals repeat facts expecting that to be a reasonable way to sway opinions. Instead, people who see what is happening to education need to talk about their VALUES and deeply held beliefs about what works in education and repeat and repeat and repeat.

    • Ms Caitlin B. Casement

      Yes! Fairness is an American value–people need to know that not every kid has access to the resources necessary for success. We need to focus attention on the disparities and encourage ways to evaluate school resources in addition to test scores. We’ve got to be positive in our message: Teachers are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities but we can’t be responsible for getting the same results unless we have the same resources.

  6. John Elligers

    The SOS Convention is an excellent idea — bringing together the many people who oppose the current school reform agenda. However, given that the current school reform agenda gains its political traction from the public’s (correct) belief that many/most of our low-SES/inner-city schools are dysfunctional, it’s unlikely that opposition to the current school reform agenda can succeed until/unless the opposition offers realistic alternative reforms to improve the low-SES/inner-city schools. In other words, for public officials, school boards, and superintendents, bad reform will prevail if the alternative is no reform.

    The convention program — speakers and breakout sessions — focuses largely on what’s wrong the the current reform agenda and how to combat that agenda. With the posssible exception of the early-childhood-education principle-writing session, there’s not much here that addresses ways to improve the schools, particularly the low-SES/inner-city schools.

    Would it be possible to add a session (or perhaps refocus an already-scheduled session) to brainstorm alternative school reform ideas, particularly ideas that could be implemented by a school system (i.e., absenteeism, student behavior, reading instruction) rather than macro-social ideas (i.e., improved health care, raising the minimum wage, reducing teen pregnancy/single parenthood)?

Comments are closed.