was held the last two days at American University. It is the main reason you have not seen me around this site much. During the conference I was doing a lot of live-tweeting, especially of the speeches by Jonathan Kozol and Diane Ravitch.
It was a fascinating gathering of 400+ people. There were the well-known educational activists - others of note were Deborah Meier, Mike Klonsky, Michelle Fine, Bob Peterson, Stan Karp and others. There were ordinary teachers. Parent groups were heavily represented. Two people who left Teach for America to get properly trained as teachers were part of a panel that included John Affeldt who won the 9th Circuit case that panicked TFA which thereupon got the definition of highly qualified teacher to include their recruits with only 5 weeks training. Also on the panel were Dave Greene and Barbara Veltri who both used to work with TFA candidates, and Janet Grossbach Mayer who has taught at various levels for 51 years, including in schools in the Bronx full of poverty.
I few more comment below the fold.
This was preparation. It brought us together, many meeting one another for the first time, having previously known one another only electronically. In the evening we had social gatherings. We networked. We learned from one another. We gained courage from one another.
And we became even more determined to Save Our Schools.
Tomorrow is the March. We will begin with entertainment at the E street side of the Ellipse at 10 AM. Around Noon we will transition, and shortly thereafter I will introduce Linda Darling-Hammond as the first of our notable speakers.
Shortly after 2, after all our speakers, and some video on the jumbotron, the thousands of marchers will step off for a march around the White House.
The March, which we invite you to join, is a high point, but not the end. It is not even the end of the beginning, for the following day we will return to American U for a Congress as we plan for how we go forward.
How many will come? We do not know. We know of groups of buses, of people coming by train and plane.
Today Ernie Rambo arrived. She teaches in Las Vegas. She had returned to her suburban Philadelphia HS for the 80th birthday of a beloved former teacher, and she ran - from Suburban Philadelphia to American U. This follows in the footsteps of Jesse Turner, who last summer walked from Connecticut to DC.
Teachers and parents are coming together.
We will no longer stand by as our public schools are being destroyed - by too many meaningless tests, by, attacks on schools and their teachers, by those who seek to profit from the tax dollars spend on education.
We includes parents and university professors as well as K-12 teachers.
It also includes students, such as the New Freedom Riders, who came by bus from New Orleans, sponsored through the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation, who culminated the conference with their energy and passion, which I assure you is contagious.
I am tired. I have not slept much in the past few days. My fingers are sore from all the live-tweeting.
But I am also energized. I am honored to have been a part of the team that has helped put this together.
Join us if you can tomorrow.
We may just be saving public education, without which we cannot hope to save democracy.
but also justice, passion, democracy.