Monday, July 25, 2011

Save our Schools March in Sacramento

By Duane Campbell
In addition to the extended public funding crisis caused by the Great Recession, parents, teachers  and families from around the country say they are fed up with so-called “reform” policies that falsely label more than 80% of U.S. public schools as failures.  A  coalition of individuals and organizations is mobilizing for a national day of action in support of public schools. 
  
On Saturday, July 30, 2011, thousands of people will gather at the White House in Washington, DC, in Sacramento,  and at locations around the nation for   “Save Our Schools” marches.   The  events are being organized by a network of teachers, parents and community activists. 
  You can contact the march efforts and locate your regional demonstration at  http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org,
 
“For too long, public school stakeholders have been treated like second class citizens in our own communities,” said Sabrina Stevens Shupe, a former Colorado teacher, who is a member of the March’s organizing committee. “Teachers’ knowledge has been dismissed because we are falsely presumed to be self-interested and incompetent.  Students and parents who vocally oppose the disruption and destruction of their schools are often entirely ignored.  At the same time, ideologues with little to no experience in public schools have made misguided decisions that devastate educational quality and equal opportunity.”

California Rally & March
Saturday, July 30, 11am-3pm
State Capitol Building
1315 10th Street, Sacramento
Join other Californians on the Capitol steps to support public education. Sponsored by California supporters of the Save Our Schools March, National Call to Action & the Student CTA. 
  
The Save Our Schools March is being held in response to recent destructive “reform” efforts which have undermined our public educational system, demoralized teachers, and reduced the education of too many of our children to nothing more than test preparation. Something must be done – and it must be done now!
The Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action is calling on Americans everywhere to demand:
                Equitable funding for all public school communities
                An end to high stakes testing for student, teacher, and school evaluation
                Curriculum developed for and by local school communities
                Teacher and community leadership in forming public education policies
July 30 Rally & March in Washington, DC and in local areas.
The  Washington rally will officially begin at noon at the Ellipse, At noon, Diane Ravitch, Jonathan Kozol, JosĂ© Vilson, Deborah Meier, Monty Neill, and other speakers, musicians, performance poets, and more will encourage, educate, and support this movement and the Save Our Schools March demands.
At 1:30 p.m., we will march to the White House, where the demands will be read, we’ll demonstrate, and engage in a call for continued action to reclaim schools as places of learning, joy, and democracy.
 The  media selected school reform “performers”  use their privileged access to public discussion and the media   to cast a linguistic fog around school conditions  and to hide the issues of power and economics. They   pit   their slogans , such as “All Children Can Learn, “  “No Excuses.” or “No Child Left Behind,”   - wrapped up in the populist appeal to common sense - against the vocabularies of the media elites, academics and other members of the "liberal establishment,".   At the same time they oppose  discussion any notion of social and economic justice.  They hide their reactionary politics and   their corporate funding,   beneath their  appeal to over simplified slogans   that fail to deal with budget realities and school realities during this economic crisis  (see Reforming the Reformers, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/magazine/reforming-the-school-reformers.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all)
The anti-democratic tendencies of fast food thought and sound bite discourse are clear  in the  media recognized voices of “school reform” from Joel Klien,  Michele Rhee to Arne Duncan and dozens more.   The media portrays these advocates as school reformers as in the film “Waiting for Superman”.  (see reviews on this blog site).
For these alleged “reformers”, over simplification of complex school issues  is  wrapped up in  slogans, while eliminating any pretense to thoughtful argumentation on issues such as the validity of most testing and the use of test scores to evaluate teachers.   These  over simplification, and particularly false dichotomies  undercuts the ability of the  public to participate in making  informed  decisions.
Both of the major teachers unions are supporting this march.  It is not led nor organized by the unions but by  concerned parents and citizens.



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