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PARS

Upcoming Events: Real vs. Phony School Reform

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Here are some upcoming events organized by our friends in Oregon Save Our Schools that you might be interested in attending:
 
Education Reform (Real vs. Phony) and How Upcoming Events Will Help You Distinguish the Difference
 
Oregonian Susan Mach, a teacher at Clackamas Community College, a parent of a Portland Public School student and an award-winning playwright, has a play opening in January: A Noble Failure. Opening day is January 11th.
 
In conjunction with the opening of the play, Brian Jones has been brought out to speak. Brian is a teacher, actor,  activist, who is also pursuing a PhD in urban education and was featured in the documentary The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman. Brian lives and works in New York City, and while Oregon, or even Portland, is not quite like NYC, there are still striking similarities to what is happening in NYC to what is happening in Oregon with respect to education reform. Come hear how Brian and other activists are pushing for real reform in NYC and let's start working toward building a stronger, united effort for such positive reforms in Oregon. 
 
Here is a chronological list of events and related information:
 
Sunday, January 6th, 7-8:30PM:
Showing of the movie The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman
COST: FREE (please purchase a beverage and/or snack to support the venue)
LOCATION: Velo Cult, 1969 Northeast 42nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97213
REGISTRATION: None
Oregon SOS will show the film and follow with a discussion that connects the reforms and characters in the film with their Oregon counterparts. 
 
Thursday, January 10th, 5:30-7PM (reception) and 7:30-9:30PM (play preview & “talk back”)
Special reception to meet Brian Jones 
COST: FREE
LOCATION: Reception: First Unitarian Church, 1211 SW Main St., Portland, OR 97205
Play Preview: Winningstad Theatre, 1111SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
REGISTRATION: Register free here (It is one registration for this reception AND the play)
 
Friday, January 11th, 5-6:30PM
Public Forum with Brian Jones: Real VS. Phony Education Reform
COST: FREE (donations appreciated); if you need childcare, contact OregonSOSinfo@gmail.com
LOCATION: Redeemer Lutheran, 5431 NE 20th, Portland, OR 97211
REGISTRATION: Register free here 
 
Friday, January 11th, 7:30-9:30PM
Opening Night of A Noble Failurefollowed by a “talk back” with Susan Mach and Brian Jones
COST: Tickets can be purchased here  For 30% off the single ticket price, call 503-235-1101 and use the education promo code: FIXING
 
Sunday, January 20th – a special panel discussion is in the works for this afternoon's performance of A Noble Failure. We will let you know as soon as we have more info. 
 
The play runs from January 11-February 3. Don't forget to use the special promo code for discounted tickets, and if you work in education, you can attend the special preview night for FREE.
 
We hope you can attend one or more of these events and please spread the word so we may Educate, Agitate, and Organize in the best interest of students and our communities!

Rethinking Schools Endorses Nov. 3 March and Rally

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,
 
PARS is endorsing the Saturday Nov. 3 Solidarity Against Austerity March, Rally, and Actions with Portland Action Lab and many local activists. During our recent Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference, many of us examined the cuts and corporate-backed attacks on public education, and the need to build a social movement to defend public education. Here in Oregon and all over the world, after years of cuts, we are threatened with even more austerity and privatization. As we confront unacceptable increases in teacher workloads and class sizes and cuts in libraries, music, arts, and even the closure of entire neighborhood schools, the Oregon Education Investment Board does not plan on addressing any of these problems and instead wants to spend millions of dollars on private consultants to track data and outcomes.
 
      Gather at Holladay Park
      NE 12th and Multnomah
          1pm – rally
          2pm – we march
      Saturday, November 3
        Enough is Enough!
 
Last week tens of thousands of people marched in Spain and the UK to protest austerity, as cuts in public services have led their economy back into recession. Over the last year, mass movements have formed all over the world, from Montreal to Chile to Chicago, to defend public education.  Let’s join together to resist 1% austerity budgets on local, state and national levels that are creating massive cuts to education, healthcare, and other social services. This is a chance to build solidarity and links between so many people affected by cuts to public and social services, from educators and indebted college students facing increasing tuition and fees to librarians, social workers and public sector workers.
 
Portland Social Equality Educators will target K12, Inc., a for-profit online charter school corporation and driver of ALEC’s (The American Legislative Exchange Council) corporate education agenda that seeks to capitalize on austerity and reallocate public education funding to private corporations.
 
Let’s demand that the wealthy and corporations pay for the crisis they created. No matter who is elected, we are part of building a movement where our communities will make our own decisions and control our own resources. On November 3rd, we vote with our feet! Come out and join us, along with Portland Social Equality Educators, OR Save Our Schools, Jobs with Justice and many union locals. Solidarity against austerity!
 
Hyung Nam
Portland Area Rethinking Schools Steering Committee
Portland Social Equality Educators 

Volunteers Needed for NWTSJ Conference

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Are you planning to attend this Saturday's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference? Might you be willing to help out a bit? (Information, registration, and program are at www.nwtsj.org.)

We will be meeting at Madison High School on Friday afternoon, around 4 pm. There will be conference folders to stuff, signs to post, rooms to "map," tables to set up, and no doubt various kinds of last minute troubles to sort through.

Saturday, we will be at Madison by 6 am. There will be coffee and tea to make, registration to help with, morning food to prepare ... Throughout the day, there will be additional needs: lunch to help with, more coffee to make, the presenters hospitality room to staff, Rethinking Schools books and magazines to sell, t-shirts to sell ... and, of course, lots of clean-up and classroom straightening afterwards.

If you will be attending the conference and would also like to help out, please send a note to Linda Christensen, <lchristensen51@gmail.com>.

Want to come to the conference, but you are not yet registered? The deadline to register and be assured of lunch is this Wednesday evening, 11 pm. www.nwtsj.org. Check out the program at the website. What a spectacular collection of presentations and workshops -- and a huge Resource Fair.

All the best,

Bill Bigelow
for the NWTSJ conference planning committee 

Register Now! NW Teaching for Social Justice Conference

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Dear Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference friends,

There is just about a week until our 5th annual conference -- Sat. October 20 at Madison High School in Portland. Details: www.nwtsj.org

The conference features more than 60 extraordinary social justice education workshops. Bob Peterson -- Rethinking Schools founding editor, editor of numerous Rethinking Schools books, 5th grade bilingual teacher, and president of the Milwaukee teachers union -- will be our keynote. Dozens of community/social justice groups for the Resource fair.

Please plan to attend, and register right away so that we can get an accurate count for food and workshop seating. Register at: www.nwtsj.org.

Our full program is available for download at the website. This promises to be another festival of inspiration, imagination, and justice. As you'll see from looking through the program, you'll have a hard time figuring which workshops you want to sign up for.

Join us! -- Coffee, tea, snacks, lunch ... included with registration.

Bill Bigelow
for the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference planning committee
www.nwtsj.org

Portland solidarity event for Chicago teachers

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Hello Portland Area Rethinking Schools folks,

Chicago teachers have just ended a historic strike, led by social justice educators and we've organized a meeting this week to generalize the lessons of their strike for our struggle here in Oregon. Hope to see you there!

Adam Sanchez
________________________________________________________________

Fighting for All of Us: The Meaning of the Chicago Teachers' Strike

Forum, Rally and Fundraiser in Solidarity with Chicago Teachers

Thursday, September 20 at 5:30pm

Portland Association of Teachers Union Hall

345 NE 8th Avenue, Portland, OR

RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/316728008424778/

Chicago teachers are fighting for all of us! Public education is under attack, and Chicago teachers are taking a stand.  Please join us for a solidarity event to show Chicago that Portland supports their struggle.

Speakers:  

Gwen Sullivan, president, Portland Association of Teachers
Tom Chamberlain, president, Oregon AFL-CIO
Richard Schwarz, executive director, American Federation of Teachers, Oregon
Richard Sanders, executive director, Oregon Education Association
Heather Conroy, executive director, SEIU 503
Bob Tackett, executive secretary-treasurer, NW Oregon Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Margaret Butler, executive director, Portland Jobs with Justice
Susan Barrett, co-founder, Oregon Save Our Schools
Sheila Warren, director, Portland Parent Union
Adam Sanchez, Social Equality Educators

and a CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION representative, KIRSTIN ROBERTS calling in by SKYPE

Sponsored by Portland Association of Teachers, Portland Jobs with Justice, Oregon Save Our Schools, Rethinking Schools, and Social Equality Educators

Register Now! NW Teaching for Social Justice conference

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Dear friend of the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice conference,

As you probably know, our 2012 NWTSJ conference is back in Portland this year, at Madison High School -- Saturday, October 20th. Registration is open at our revamped website: www.nwtsj.org.

Our keynote speaker this year is Bob Peterson. Bob is a founding editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, and co-editor of numerous Rethinking Schools books, including Rethinking Elementary Education, Rethinking Mathematics, Rethinking Globalization, Rethinking Columbus, and Transforming Teacher Unions. He is also a founder of La Escuela Fratney, a two-way bilingual elementary school in Milwaukee, Wisc. Bob is currently the elected president of the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association.

As in years past, we'll be offering more than 60 outstanding workshops from educators around the Northwest. Some of this year's workshops include:

-- Performance Slam Poetry: A tool for cross-cultural communication
-- Hidden Agender: Improving gender equity in your classroom
-- Education and Capitalism: Struggles for learning and liberation
-- Supporting Undocumented American Youth in Uncertain Times
-- Talking Back to Statistics: Mathematics as a tool for inquiry into the issue of gun violence
-- Understanding the Middle East Through Children's Literature
-- Scandalous! Examining scandals as student empowerment and unit focus
-- Social Justice Unionism
-- Empowering Students Through Action Research & Storytelling to Transform School Culture

And many, many more.

The conference also features a resource fair with exhibitors from community groups, social justice organizations, and non-profit publishers.

The NWTSJ conference is sponsored by Portland Area Rethinking Schools, Puget Sound Rethinking Schools, Olympia Educators for Social Justice, Social Equality Educators (Portland and Seattle), and Rethinking Schools magazine.

Spread the word and plan to join us Saturday, October 20th at Madison High School in Portland. www.nwtsj.org. Those of you who have attended one of our conferences know what an inspirational and idea-packed event this is. Don't miss it.

Bill Bigelow
for the NWTSJ conference planning committee

One more week to propose a workshop for Social Justice conference

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Reminder: the deadline for submitting applications to do a workshop at the upcoming (October 20th) Northwest Teaching for Social Justice conference is fast approaching. It's July 1st. Please go to www.nwtsj.org and click on the "Workshop Proposal App" at the top of the page.

We are looking for workshops on classroom practice on social justice teaching in all subjects, all grade levels, and with all student populations. We also encourage workshops on social justice union activism, Common Core State Standards, building teacher-parent-community alliances, school leadership for social justice, evaluating "value added" testing, farm-to-school programs, Dream Act organizing, student climate activism -- anything that is connected to K-12 education and making the world a better place.

If you have attended one or more of the four NWTSJ conferences, you know what an inspiring and stimulating event this is. If you have not attended one yet, we're back in Portland this year, at Madison High School, so please join us. And please consider proposing a workshop.

Our keynote speaker this year is Bob Peterson, founding editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, longtime elementary teacher and organizer of a two-way bilingual elementary school, current president of the Milwaukee teachers' union, and an editor of Rethinking Schools' newest book, Rethinking Elementary Education.

Best,

Bill Bigelow
for the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference organizing committee
bill@rethinkingschools.org

Propose a "Teaching for Social Justice" Workshop

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Now that school is ending, I wanted to remind you that the deadline for submitting applications to do a workshop at the upcoming (October 20th) Northwest Teaching for Social Justice conference is fast approaching. Well, the deadline is July 1st, so there is still time. Please go to www.nwtsj.org and click on the "Workshop Proposal App" at the top of the page.

We are looking for workshops on classroom practice on social justice teaching in all subjects, all grade levels, and with all populations of students. But we're also open to workshops on social justice union activism, Common Core State Standards, building teacher-parent-community alliances, school leadership for social justice, evaluating "value added" testing, farm-to-school programs, Dream Act organizing, student climate activism -- anything that is connected to K-12 education and making the world a better place.

For those of you who have attended one or more of the four NWTSJ conferences, you know what an inspiring and stimulating event this is. If you have not attended one yet, we're back in Portland this year, at Madison High School, so please join us. And please consider proposing a workshop.

By the way, our keynote speaker this year is Bob Peterson, founding editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, longtime elementary teacher and organizer of a two-way bilingual elementary school, current president of the Milwaukee teachers' union, and an editor of Rethinking Schools' newest book, Rethinking Elementary Education.

Best,

Bill Bigelow
for the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference organizing committee
bill@rethinkingschools.org

Statewide Oregon Save Our Schools day of action, May 31

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Please join Portland Area Social Equality Educators on May 31, 4pm as part of the statewide Oregon Save Our Schools day of action, to march on anti-union, anti-teacher group Stand for Children.
 
The Plan:
4pm - Gather at Couch City Park
4:30pm - March to Stand for Children Office!
5pm - Rally in front of Stand for Children Office!
 
Why march on Stand For Children?
 
They are one of the key players pushing the anti-teacher corporate reform agenda nationwide. For more information on Stand for Children read this article:
and watch this video:
Please share our event on social media https://www.facebook.com/events/286258471466716/

Hyung Nam
Portland Area Rethinking Schools and Portland Area Social Equality Educators
Portland Area Social Equality Educators’ Demands:
 
Full Funding and Funding Equity
Oregon gives away millions of dollars in corporate subsidies every year while funding for education is continually cut. We demand that the state reverse these budget priorities and fully fund our schools, using a method that creates funding equity across school districts.
 
End the Corporate Education Agenda
We want an end to the initiatives embodied in the national Race to the Top (RTTT) program and Governor Kitzhaber's Achievement Compacts that rely on market-based approaches for our schools. We oppose the privatizing influence of charter schools that drain desperately needed funds from public schools. We oppose merit pay and other initiatives that seek to define teaching and learning through curriculum narrowing and culturally biased standardized tests.
 
Stop the Attack on Teachers and Teachers Unions
All over the nation, teachers are under attack. Politicians of both parties, in every state, have blamed teachers rather than corporate deform for failing schools and students. Mass firings of teachers in so-called failing schools have taken place throughout the nation. More than 300,000 educator jobs have been lost since 2008. This is no accident. Breaking the teachers' unions, the largest single sector of unionized workers in the country, is a key part of the ruling elites’ strategy of austerity. They want workers to pay for the crisis they created and we say “hell no!”

Education and Capitalism Book Launch

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Education and Capitalism Book Launch

Date/Time:
Friday, June 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Location:
Portland Association of Teachers Office
345 NE 8th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97232

Event Information:

The Portland book launch for Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation
A public forum with authors Bill Bigelow, Jesse Hagopian, Sarah Knopp and Adam Sanchez

A conservative consensus dominates the discussion about what’s wrong with our schools and how to fix them: scapegoat teachers, vilify our unions, and promise more private control and market solutions. In each case, students lose—especially students of color and the children of the working class and the poor.

Education and Capitalism, written by teacher activists, speaks back to that elite consensus. It draws on the ideas and experiences of social justice educators concerned with fighting against racism and working for equality—of activists trying to recapture the radical roots of the labor movement. Informed by a revolutionary vision of pedagogy, schools, and education, the book offers a radical critique of education in Corporate America, and contributes to a vision of education for liberation.

Sponsored by Haymarket Books, Rethinking Schools, Social Equality Educators and Oregon Save Our Schools

RSVP on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/233335663442520/

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.