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Event Monday- Inside the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike with Nicole McCormick


Portland Rising and the Portland Association of Teachers present
Nicole McCormick
West Virginia teacher and organizer
Inside the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike

7-8:30 PM
Monday, July 23rd
@ Portland Association of Teachers office, 345 NE 8th Ave

When teachers and other education workers went on strike in West Virginia, they shut down every public school in the state. Thousands of workers and supportive parents protested at the state capital. Nine school days later, they declared victory. Their commitment and solidarity won a significant raise for all public sector workers, forced withdrawal of bills that would have expanded charter schools and eliminated teacher seniority, and a government promise to convene a task force to find ways to reign-in rising worker health care costs. Their victory inspired teacher strikes in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona.

· What challenges did teachers face in West Virginia?
· How did they succeed in building worker unity and a state-wide strike?
· How did they succeed in building wide-spread popular support?

Nicole will talk about how the strike was organized and won, and lessons to be learned.
Nicole McCormack is a middle school teacher, key leader in the state-wide WV strike, and
President – Elect of the Mercer County Education Association.

Donations will be requested; No one will be turned away.

Portland Rising is a committee of Jobs with Justice www.jwjpdx.org

Propose a Workshop for NW Teaching for Social Justice Conference


Dear Portland Rethinking Schools friends,

Now that school is over, it's time to get serious about proposing a workshop for this fall's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference, to be held Saturday, October 20th, at Portland's Madison High School. The conference is a grassroots effort and we depend on educators in Portland and throughout the Northwest to share their insights about imaginative, social justice teaching.

Please consider submitting a workshop proposal for the conference. Go to www.nwtsj.org and look in the “Workshops” column. If you encounter problems or have questions, write rfp@nwtsj.org. Examples of past workshops are also available at our website.

We are thrilled that our keynote speaker will be Winona LaDuke, longtime activist, writer, and executive director of Honor the Earth. LaDuke lives at the Ojibwe White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. She was featured in the new full-length documentary, First Daughter and the Black Snake.

As you know, last year's conference in Seattle was a joyful, inspiring, and thought-provoking gathering -- with about 1,350 educators from around the Northwest. Please consider contributing to conference by submitting a workshop proposal.

Thanks for your important work.

Bill Bigelow
for the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference planning committee

Reclaiming Common Ground: A Cross-Border Conference for British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon teachers


Dear Portland Rethinking Schools friends,

Not to be missed: the upcoming "Reclaiming Common Ground: A Cross-Border Conference for British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon teachers." This is a first of its kind conference. Please try to make it. Conference keynoters are Naomi Klein and Seth Klein.

Date: Saturday, April 7, 2018
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
​At Sullivan Heights Secondary School
​6248 144 St., Surrey, BC. in Surrey, British Columbia.

Conference organizers write:

"Recent history in the US and Canada records multiple attacks on public education in many forms. Public education as a common space, the foundation of a democratic society, has lost ground over the past 10 years. It’s time to reclaim the space that’s been lost to the voices of hate, bigotry, and neoliberalism. It’s time for teachers to re-engage in their important role in the process of social transformation.

"We invite teachers and activists to examine and re-imagine the public school as common ground for the nurturing of the progressive democratic ideals of equity, inclusion and justice. We encourage participants to reflect on their students’ development as citizens capable of understanding issues of poverty, racism, homophobia, disabilities, and culture. Teachers are in a position to respond to these themes in the classroom in a way that upholds basic democratic ideals and principles.

"Teachers from British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington will come together to connect across borders in this first ever cross border social justice conference. Come! Bring your colleagues!"

A number of Rethinking Schools editors and writers will be offering workshops, along with other outstanding educators from around the region. We will have Rethinking Schools/Zinn Education Project tables there.

Please join us.

Bill Bigelow
Curriculum Editor
Rethinking Schools

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner at Madison High School, Thursday -- Climate Change and Our Classrooms


Dear Portland Rethinking Schools friends,

Please join the Portland Public Schools Climate Justice Committee and Rethinking Schools this Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Madison High School Library (4 pm to 6 pm) for an afternoon with Marshall Islands performance poet and activist Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner: "From the Frontlines of Climate Change to Our Classrooms."

Kathy has performed around the world -- including at the opening of the UN climate talks in 2014. It's a rare treat to have her perform for educators in Portland.

Resolution #5272, passed unanimously by the PPS school board in 2016, says that "All Portland Public Schools students should develop confidence and passion when it comes to making a positive difference in society, and come to see themselves as activists and leaders for social and environmental justice -- especially through seeing the diversity of people around the world who are fighting the root causes of climate change."

Come and listen to Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and talk about how we can implement this resolution in our schools and classrooms.

The facebook page for this event is: https://www.facebook.com/events/153441031974640/

Bill Bigelow, for the Portland Public Schools Climate Justice Committee and Rethinking Schools

Jim Wallace, 1929 - 2017 / Memorial Service, Sunday, December 3

Friends of Portland Rethinking Schools,

Some of us on this email listserv knew Jim well, some may have known him as an acquaintance, and many not at all. His passing is a chance to recognize the important part he played in helping establish and build the community of progressive teachers, other educators, and community members that we see around us today. 

First as director of the Reed MAT program in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and later in the Lewis and Clark Education Department, Jim attracted, supported and inspired others dedicated to the democratizing potential of public education. From early days as a Quaker service volunteer, public school teacher and counselor, Jim had a steadfast commitment to the public good, to social justice and public schools.

In Portland, hundreds of us have had the direct benefit, and example, of Jim’s teaching: skilled, humane, engaging, respectful, and in the service of a powerful social vision. He also leaves a more personal legacy: his dedication to family and friends, his decency, his loving and generous nature, his intelligence, his sense of humor and enthusiastic love of making music.

A memorial service will be held at Lewis & Clark College from 2-5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Smith Hall (formerly known as "Albany"). 
Jim's obituary in the Oregonian is HERE. You can view and contribute to a guest book there. 

An RSVP would be helpful for the planners, but please don’t let not RSVPing keep you away. RSVP to <shermand@teleport.com>.
Doug Sherman (Reed MAT 1971)

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Attend the 2017 NW Teaching for Social Justice Conference


Dear Rethinking Schools friends,

Our 10th annual NWTSJ Conference is just a week and a half away: Saturday, October 21, at Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle.

Take a look at the program at our website, www.nwtsj.org. More than 75 amazing workshops; a morning keynote by New York City teacher activist Brian Jones, on Teaching to a Future We Cannot Yet See"; special panels on ethnic studies and early-career teacher issues; and dozens of community and education groups at our Resource Fair -- including a full display of Rethinking Schools books and magazines.

The conference is still just $30 -- and $5 for students, including people in teacher education programs -- and that includes coffee and tea in the morning, lunch, and much more.

Need help with housing in Seattle? Write our NWTSJ Housing Coordinator, Peter Henry:

Don't miss this festival of justice and imagination. Come and meet other people of conscience from around the Northwest who are working to improve our schools -- and the world. www.nwtsj.org

The conference is sponsored by Puget Sound Rethinking Schools, Social Equality Educators, the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College, the Portland Association of Teachers, the Portland-area Critical Educators Collective, and Rethinking Schools magazine.

NWTSJ Conference Proposal Deadline: July 1


Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

The deadline for workshop proposals for this year's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference is this Saturday July 1st. NWTSJ is a festival of idea-sharing, inspiration, and resources. The conference rotates between Portland and Seattle, and this October 21st, for our 10th annual gathering, we'll be back in Seattle, at Chief Sealth International High School.

We depend on social justice educators and community activists sharing their wisdom through participatory workshops. Please consider proposing a workshop: http://nwtsj.org/workshop-proposal-applications/.

The website also includes past programs, so you can see the kind of workshops we have featured through the years. These focus on K-12 classroom teaching, education activism, policy concerns, and more.

The conference is sponsored by Rethinking Schools, along with organizations throughout Oregon and Washington: Puget Sound Rethinking Schools, the Washington Education Association, the Portland Association of Teachers, Social Equality Educators, the Critical Educators Collective, the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College, and Portland Area Rethinking Schools.

In these scary times, educators of conscience need each other more than ever. Please consider proposing a workshop for this year's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference.

Portland Area Rethinking Schools has a 30+ year history of working to support public education and progressive reform in the schools. We are teachers, parents, students, community activists and teacher educators who believe excellent and equitable public schools are essential for all students to reach their potential and for the creation of a just and democratic society.