warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/portland/www/www/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.module on line 1390.


Are you attending the AERO conference?


Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

At this week's Alternative Education Resource Organization conference (Thursday through Saturday), I'll be staffing the Rethinking Schools tables, exhibiting RS books and magazines along with Zinn Education Project materials. Tim Swinehart and Moé Yonamine, who are both doing workshops, will also be staffing the tables from time to time. It would be wonderful to have more help, if you'd be able to spare an hour or two one or more of these days. Please send me a note at bill@rethinkingschools.org and I will get you on the schedule.  Thanks so much.

By the way, to check out the AERO conference, go to: http://www.educationrevolution.org/conference.html. Deborah Meier is one of the keynoters. As I mentioned in an earlier email, there are free passes available to the workshops that Moé, Tim, and I are leading, and I heard that AERO has some free passes to the entire conference for Rethinking Schools supporters. Write alternativeeducation@gmail.com for details.

Thanks very much.

Bill Bigelow

Rethinking Schools at AERO Conference in Portland


Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Next week is the Alternative Education Resource Organization national conference, "Transforming Education and Our World." (http://www.educationrevolution.org/conference.html). This year, it's here in Portland: August 4 to 7, Red Lion on the River. Rethinking Schools will be exhibiting books and magazines, and we are also sponsoring three workshops. 

The AERO organizers have kindly offered free admission to these workshops to Rethinking Schools supporters. Contact AERO at: alternativeeducation@gmail.com.

The AERO keynote speakers include Rethinking Schools contributor and longtime education activist Deborah Meier. The Rethinking Schools workshops are:

Indigenous Peoples Confront the Climate Crisis
Tim Swinehart, Lincoln High School
3pm-4pm on Thursday, August 4th

Rethinking the Line Between Us
Bill Bigelow
10:30am-12pm on Friday, August 5th

The Hidden Story of Japanese Latin American Internment
Moé Yonamine
1:30pm-3pm on Saturday, August 6th

Full workshop descriptions below.

Please join us at the AERO conference and drop by the Rethinking Schools table in Salon #2.

Bill Bigelow

Indigenous Peoples Confront the Climate Crisis
The world's indigenous people are the least responsible for climate change yet are suffering the most from its consequences. How should they respond to this injustice? This workshop will introduce participants to a classroom-tested role play that focuses on how indigenous peoples around the world are being affected by and responding to the climate crisis -- recently updated after the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, in Bolivia in April 2010.

Tim Swinehart teaches Social Studies at Lincoln High School in Portland. He is active with the Portland area “Earth in Crisis” curriculum group and recently co-wrote the article “Don't Take Our Voices Away,” for Rethinking Schools magazine.

Rethinking the Line Between Us
The U.S. war with Mexico (1846-48) rarely makes an appearance in the traditional history curriculum. And yet this war resulted in Mexico losing almost half its territory and the U.S. gaining huge amounts of land, including California. It also was the birth of this country's first anti-war movement. This participatory workshop will focus on how to introduce students to a multicultural perspective on the war and how to enlist students in thinking more critically about their textbooks. These activities are transferable to other content areas. K-12 and parents

Bill Bigelow taught high school social studies for 30 years and is the curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools magazine. He is author of numerous books, including The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration and A People's History for the Classroom.

The Hidden Story of Japanese Latin American Internment - Teaching diverse Middle School students empowering ways to explore racism in history
This workshop will introduce the hidden story of the U.S. government's orchestrating and financing of  internment, removal, and deportation of Japanese descendants from Latin America during WW II. Participants will engage in interactive activities to uncover history from different perspectives. Teaching strategies presented will also deal with recent legislation seeking justice for survivors. 
Curriculum materials provided.  

Moé Yonamine works with students in East Portland and has written on the Japanese Latin American Internment for Rethinking Schools magazine.

Workshop Proposals: Teaching for Social Justice Conference


Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Have you been intending to submit a proposal for next fall's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice conference? Now is the time. Deadline is July 1.

Go to www.nwtsj.org and click on "Workshop Proposal App" in the upper left of the website. As you know from last year, if you attended the wonderful conference at Madison High School, the workshops were excellent -- participatory, idea-rich, and reflected a social justice perspective on education. The conference featured over 60 workshops. We hope that each year, workshops get better and more diverse. 

Next fall we'll be back in Seattle, site of our first conference, and anticipate another great event -- well worth the trip from Portland. Our keynote speaker will be Karen Lewis, the recently elected president of the Chicago Teachers Union, who will talk about the role of a social justice teachers union in these tough times. And this just in: Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp has been added to the program. If you missed Stan's talk this year at Jefferson High School, you'll want to catch him in Seattle. We'll be at Chief Sealth International High School, Saturday, October 1st. Details at www.nwtsj.org.

Again, the workshop proposal deadline is fast approaching. Please consider submitting a proposal.


Bill Bigelow, for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

Oregon Writing Project / WRITING IN THE SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOM / July 11-15


The Oregon Writing Project offers the following course for one week this summer:


Monday-Friday, July 11-15, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

What is the role of writing in a social studies classroom? Preparation for research papers? Responding to AP questions? Sure. But more than that, writing is a means of understanding the world. Writing helps students engage in the facts of history as they explore the human interactions that created historical events.

In this course, teachers will learn how to effectively teach essay writing as well as other writing-to-learn techniques, from note-taking to interior monologues where students become eyewitnesses to history.

Instructors: Keri Hughes, M.A.T., and Amy Schuff, M. Ed., OWP Teacher Consultants
Location: TBA off-campus
Degree-applicable credit: ED 595, 2 semester hours -- $1,000 off-campus rate
Continuing education credit: CEED 895, 2 semester hours -- $700

For information about registration, please contact Pam Hooten at phooten@lclark.edu or at 503-768-6132. Register by June 30.

Education bills in the Oregon Legislature: Request for help


Dear Rethinking Schools friends,
I got a call last week from Representative Lew Frederick (Oregon House District 43) asking me to alert people to three measures that are currently being considered in the Oregon House.  He is concerned that the passage of these measures would have a number of serious consequences for the state.  Their primarily Republican sponsors are indicating that they will only vote for Governor Kitzhaber’s education bill if these measures are attached to it.

Discussion about this package of bills has been removed from the Education Committee and placed in the Rules Committee—where discussion is limited. Rep. Frederick urged me as well as others to write to the Co-Chairs of the House, Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) and Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg), expressing our objections to these measures.  A letter to Governor Kitzhaber would also be helpful.  A brief description of the measures follows along with contact information for the Co-Chairs.
HB3645 – This bill would expand the types of entities that may sponsor charter schools, especially colleges and universities.  It would sidestep the current authority that local school districts have over these decisions.  Rep. Frederick worries that if passed this measure would provide a backdoor route allowing more private charters to set up shop in the state. 
HB3681 – This bill would allow students to attend schools in a district where the student does not have legal residence if the student receives written consent from the district where the school is located.  Rep. Frederick sees this measure as a means for allowing White parents to move their children from a district with a large number of non-White or low-income students to a district with more middle class and White students.
HB2301 – This bill allows a school district, a group of school districts, or education service districts to provide part-time on-line instruction or full-time online instruction.  In support of this, it allows for the establishment of three virtual public schools.  The bill effectively separates virtual school law from charter school law.  Rep. Frederick supports efforts to provide more on-line educational resources to students in the state, but he does not support the creation of more on-line private schools.
All three of these measures are products of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that advocates for limited government, free markets, and federalism.  ALEC was responsible for the measures passed by the Wisconsin State Assembly and pushed by Governor Scott Walker.  Similar measures to the three described above have also been introduced into a number of other state legislatures. 
If you are so inclined, please write to the House Co-Chairs and present your reasons for why these measures are unlikely to improve students’ educational opportunities in the state and possibly do more harm than good.
Representative Arnie Roblan, Capitol Building, 900 Court Street NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301.  503-986-1300.  E-mail:
Representative Bruce Hanna, Capitol Building, 900 Court Street NE, 269, Salem, OR 97301.  503-986-1200.  E-mail:

Many thanks,
Greg Smith
Lewis & Clark College

Stephen Krashen Portland workshop/June 4


Save the Date: June 4, Workshop with Dr. Stephen Krashen

Join Dr. Stephen Krashen, 2011 Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling commencement speaker for a workshop
 Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. Details of Dr. Krashen’s workshop will be available soon – visit https://www.lclark.edu/live/events/5939-workshop-with-dr-stephen-krashen for updates or contact cce@lclark.edu.

This event is co-sponsored by Portland Area Rethinking Schools and the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.
About the Presenter

Dr. Krashen is a linguist, educational researcher, and activist. He is Professor Emeritus of Learning and Instruction at the University of Southern California, specializing in theories of language acquisition and development.  Much of Dr. Krashen’s research has involved the study of non-English and bilingual language acquisition. During the past 20 years, he has published hundreds of articles, books, and has been invited to deliver over 500 lectures at universities throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

Save Our Schools March and Call to Action


Hello fellow public school supporters! 

My name is Emily Crum. I am a Kindergarten teacher and the Oregon Informational Coordinator for the Save Our Schools March and Call to Action. The Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action is a grassroots movement dedicated to restoring educator, parent, student, and community influence over education policy and practice. We are a varied group of people with different perspectives, experiences, and views on education. But we agree that those who know the most about education, our schools, and our communities -- the educators, students, families and communities in and around them -- should be the ones to have the most influence over education policy and practice. Our goal is to put public school stakeholders back at the center of all education policy conversations, and to refocus national, state, and local efforts on providing the resources and support that schools need in order to provide a high-quality education for every student.

We have planned a March in Washington DC on July 30, 2011. Marches are happening across the nation on this day in different states such as California, Washington, Texas, Florida, and many others. I would love to see a March happen in Oregon, but as I am going to the March in DC, I would need more public school activists to help plan and run a March or Rally here in Oregon. This movement is growing fast many professors, educators, parents, unions, and public school activists have endorsed the march. Rethinking Schools was one of the first groups to endorse the March and Movement. Check out our website and sign up: http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org/ and Like the Save Our Schools Oregon Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/SOS-Oregon/197151486993630 

There are many more ways you can support the March and Call to Action. Please contact me if you are interested in becoming more active in the Movement. The March happening in July is just the beginning! Public schools are being attacked. We have joined the conversation and are letting policy makers, politicians, and corporate funded “reformers” know that we are not giving up on public education without a fight. Be part of this change and let's stand in solidarity against these attacks.

Emily Crum, Oregon Informational Coordinator
Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action 
Washington, D.C. & Nationwide | July 28-31, 2011
Follow SOS on Twitter:  @SOSMarch Oregon Facebook: SOS Oregon 
Connect With Other Supporters in the SOS Forums!

Submit a NW Teaching for Social Justice Conf. proposal


Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

My apologies if you're getting this email blast twice. If you attended last year's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference, then you know that it was a joyful, inspiring, and thought-provoking event -- with over 750 educators from around the Northwest. If you were unable to make it, I encourage you to plan to join us in Seattle next fall, as we anticipate another great conference. Our keynote speaker will be Karen Lewis, the recently elected president of the Chicago Teachers Union, who will talk about the role of a social justice teachers union in these tough times. We'll be at Chief Sealth High School, Saturday, October 1st. Details at www.nwtsj.org.

I'm writing to encourage you to think about submitting a workshop proposal for the conference. Go to www.nwtsj.org and click on "Workshop Proposal App" in the upper left of the website for more information and a workshop proposal form. As you know from last year, the workshops were excellent -- participatory, idea-rich, and reflected a social justice perspective on education. The conference featured over 60 workshops. We hope that each year, workshops get better and more diverse. Please consider submitting a proposal.


Bill Bigelow, for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

Rethinking Schools / Spring Issue


Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Below is the email that Rethinking Schools' policy and production editor Jody Sokolower sent out describing our new issue. It's out and available around town: New Seasons Concordia, Alberta St. Cooperative Grocery, Broadway Books, People's Food, Powell's Downtown, Rich's Cigars downtown -- if you don't find it at your local grocer or bookstore, please ask them to carry it. Better still, please show your support for Rethinking Schools by subscribing.

Best, Bill Bigelow

Volume 25, No. 3, SPRING 2011: Climate Crisis in the Classroom

Rethinking Schools is based in Milwaukee, so everyone—from RS editors and staff to our art director in Madison—has been organizing, demonstrating, and teaching the Wisconsin uprising. But we know how important the magazine is to supporting the education activists of today and tomorrow, so here is our spring issue, right on time and filled with inspiring articles:

Our focus this issue is on climate crisis and the environment:

On a different note, we are honored to publish "Keepers of the Second Throat" by Patricia Smith, the incredible slam poet, teacher, performer, and National Book Award finalist. Don't miss this lyrical, inspiring, and beautiful piece about the role of teachers in nurturing their students' voices and stories.

True to our Wisconsin roots, our Action Education section is crammed with photos and reflections on events in Madison.

And much, much more. . .

Check it all out at www.rethinkingschools.org. Today, as public education and teachers are under unprecedented attack, Rethinking Schools is more important than ever. Stay in the loop and be part of the movement for social justice education by subscribing to Rethinking Schools magazine.

As a special "spring-time" bonus: we'll give you $5 off any two-year subscription to Rethinking Schools—a great gift for a teacher or teacher-to-be. Just go to thesubscription order page and enter the special code 5SJ2C11 upon checkout.

Jody Sokolower 
Policy and Production Editor 


Teachers Against the War(s)


Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

It's unbearably sad that once again we'll be gathering this weekend to demand an end to the U.S. war(s). Now more than ever we need to highlight this country's obscene and topsy-turvy priorities. 

Portland Area Rethinking Schools is one of the co-sponsors of Saturday's demonstration:

Eight Years in Iraq; Nine Years in Afghanistan
How Is the War Economy Working for You?

Saturday, March 19th
12:30 pm: Gathering/music
1 pm: Rally
1:30: March
Pioneer Courthouse Sq. (SW 6th and Yamhill)
Downtown Portland

To mark the 8th anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

End the wars and occupations.
Bring all the troops home now.
Fund jobs, health care, and human needs -- not the war machine.
Take action!
Stand for civil liberties at home and abroad.

For more information: Peace and Justice Works: 503-236-3065; www.pjw.info

Look for us at the yellow and black Teachers Against the War banner

See you Saturday.

Bill Bigelow
for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

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.