Save Our Schools plans to follow up last year’s Washington D.C. rally that drew thousands of parents, educators and activists committed to education reform by holding a convention in the same city this year. The convention will run from August 3rd to August 5th and its focus will be to adopt a new platform aimed at bringing about “Real Education Reform.”
Called SOS People’s Education Convention, the conference will feature speakers who are well-known voices in education reform. Educators like Johnathan Kozol, Deborah Meier and Nancy Carlsson-Paige will be joined by civil rights attorneys Rose Sanders and Shanta Driver.
Convention participants will also review and refine platform planks that groups have been drafting for several months. The final “People’s Principles for Public Education” will be presented to both national political parties before their upcoming conventions.
The event will develop strategies to ensure grassroots voices are heard on key education issues including testing, privatization, and school funding leading up to the November elections and beyond.
Member of the SOS Steering Committee and the Director of the Central Connecticut State University Literacy Center Dr. Jesse Turner said that the organizers and the attendees are brought together over the frustration of education solutions that owe more to ideology than a genuine desire to improve academic outcomes for American kids. Those seeking to reform education need to make students, teachers and the local communities a priority over politics and partisanship.
Deborah Meier, another SOS Steering Committee member, added. “A broad range of groups and experts have helped shape the platform planks that will be considered at the Convention. We call on parents, students, community activists and teachers to join us in the struggle for real education reform. Never has there been a greater need for unity.” Ms. Meier was the first public school teacher ever to receive a MacArthur “genius” award.
Those who attend the gathering will be able to take advantage of workshops that deal with topics like the overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act, punitive school closures, and the role poverty plays in educational attainment.
The registration for the PEC is open, and the details are available on the SOS website. All the conference activities will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park, with the keynote speech delivered at 2:15pm on Friday, August 3rd, 2012. The conference will close at 12:15pm on Sunday, August 5th, 2012.