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Solidarity with Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio

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Dear Rethinking Schools friends,

Please join Tuesday's demonstration downtown, sponsored by Jobs with Justice and others:

Rally in solidarity with Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio
    Tuesday, March 15th at 5:00pm
    Terry Schrunk Plaza
    SW 3rd and Madison in Portland

Though millions of Americans are out of jobs, corporate-funded politicians are attacking worker rights and slashing public services, instead of addressing the jobs deficit.

Why? It’s simple: political payback to the same Wall Street and corporate CEOs who pushed millions of Americans out of jobs and homes, got bailed out and are back to making record profits. The corporate greed agenda is a permanent “jobless recovery" that concentrates wealth at the top, while leaving the rest of us to fight over what’s left.

These corporate-backed politicians have other proposals that will lower wages, decimate public education, hang teachers out to dry by weakening or eliminating the right for fair treatment and due process on the job.

Meanwhile, we should draw inspiration from the massive resistance that has been going on in Wisconsin since Gov. Walker announced his rollback of workers rights -- and that has been replicated in Indiana and Ohio.

"In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans such as ‘right to work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining… We demand this fraud be stopped." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio are the frontlines today, but this program will soon be showing across the country, if we don’t stop them.

Two recommended films: March 10 & March 16

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Two upcoming education-related films that you might be interested in: Lessons from the Real World is playing this Thursday, March 10 at the Hollywood Theater on NE Sandy and Race to Nowhere will be at the Bagdad Theater on SE Hawthorne next Wednesday the 16th.

Details below -- the first announcement is from producer Robert Gliner, the second from Shane Endicott of the Rebuilding Center.

Best,
Bill Bigelow for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

Exclusive movie premiere!
Lessons from the Real World
Produced by Robert Gliner and featuring Portland-area students, teachers, and schools
Thursday, March 10, 2011, 6pm
Doors open and reception at 5:30pm
The filmmaker will attend and take questions after the screening
 
Hollywood Theatre
4122 Northeast Sandy Boulevard, Portland
Free admission and light refreshments. All ages are welcome.
Seating is limited to the first 220 people.
Please call the PSU Box Office for reservations: 503-725-3307
 
A new documentary film featuring Portland-area schools will premiere at the Hollywood Theatre on Thursday, March 10.
 Lessons from the Real World, by filmmaker Robert Gliner, takes on negative perceptions about our schools and features successful innovative lessons conducted by Oregon educators at eight Metro-area schools.
 
Gliner’s answer to the recent documentary,
 Waiting for Superman, puts a positive spin on effective education practices that feature students working on projects outside the school in their communities. “Learning to read, do math and other subjects will come if students care about what they are learning, rather than drilling them with subject matter largely divorced from their real lives,” he says.
 
Schools featured in the 58-minute film include Trillium Charter School, Sunnyside Environmental School, Jefferson High School, Marshall Campus, Roosevelt High School, Atkinson Elementary, Sojourner in North Clackamas, and Portland State University.
 
For more information, contact:
 EDfilm@pdx.edu

*****

Dear Friends,
 
If you have children or are involved in schools in anyway, I strongly encourage you to see
 Race to Nowhere. It will be showing one night only at the Bagdad Theater 3702 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. Wednesday March 16th. Doors open at 5:30 and show begins at 6:30pm. This screening was just confirmed yesterday and tickets are expected to sell fast. I am emailing you the links below before it's publicized.
 
Race to Nowhere is screening across the nation at the moment to raise public awareness around the challenges we face as a nation with our current education system. The screening will also be a fundraiser for Da Vinci Arts Middle School. The film has earned official selection in ten film festivals nationally and internationally.
 
I watched
 Race to Nowhere at a private showing three weeks ago. I was impressed with the film and panel discussion afterwards. Race to Nowhere has been embraced by students, parents, teachers, administrators, universities and many others both in and outside the education community. It's a film that doesn't place blame on one group, but rather raises important questions and aims to shed a clear light on what's wrong with our current system. Most importantly, it gives actual examples of how we can work together to make our schools better for everyone- especially students. It's truly a film everyone should see. You can learn more by going to the Race to Nowhere website at http://www.racetonowhere.com/  or for local info and tickets http://rtndavinciartsms.eventbrite.com/
 
 Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who might be interested.
 
I hope you can make it.
 
Shane Endicott 

Spring Oregon NAME conference

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

This year's conference of the Oregon chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education will be held in April in Eugene. Rethinking Schools has had a presence at Oregon NAME for many years; it's an engaging and worthwhile conference. Registration information is below.

Also, the winter issue of Rethinking Schools is an excellent one, and will be on sale at area sites for a few more weeks, until the spring issue arrives. Check it out at New Seasons Concordia, Broadway Books, Alberta St. Coop Grocery, Powell's Books downtown, Food Front, and Rich's Cigars downtown. Check it out at www.rethinkingschools.org. Of course, the best is to subscribe. Online or 800-669-4192. 

Best, Bill Bigelow
for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

Registration is now open for the OR-NAME conference on April 30th. Please go to the link below.

http://www.viethconsulting.com/members/evr/reg_event.php?orgcode=NAME&evid=3218427

Also, proposals for presentations and workshops are due on Friday. I am happy to help if you have questions.

Gennie

Genevieve Harris (geharris@linfield.edu)
Assistant Professor
Education Department
Linfield College
503-883-2238 

Solidarity with Wisconsin -- two events

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

There are a couple of events coming up Thursday and Friday to express solidarity with Wisconsin and learn about the struggle there. The first, Thursday evening at Portland State University, a reportback from Adam Sanchez, Portland teacher, ILWU activist, and member of the International Socialists Organization; and Friday afternoon a Jobs with Justice solidarity gathering at Director Park, downtown. Details for both below. -- The JwJ announcement also includes how you can support the struggle there by ordering pizza to have delivered to demonstrators occupying the state capitol building. I called today and bought several to have delivered, and the fellow, Nelson, said, "We've been getting lots of calls from Oregon." A great way to literally feed the organizing there.

Best,  Bill Bigelow (bill@rethinkingschools.org)
for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

*REPORT BACK FROM THE CLASS WAR IN WISCONSIN*
From Egypt to Wisconsin: The Crisis of Capitalism and Resistance from Below

Thursday, February 24th, 7pm
Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union Room 327

Around the world, economies are being wrecked by crisis. In addition to the trillions of dollars handed over to Wall Street, the governments of Ireland, Greece, and Portugal required similar bailouts while Spain and Italy are seek a way out of the financial crisis. In poor countries, anger over unemployment and rising food prices is helping fuel revolts and revolutions as evident from the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt.

Of course, working-class people everywhere are being forced to pay for the crisis, through joblessness, wage-cuts, and the slashing of social services. Though these cuts have been less severe in the United States, the same political and economic dynamics provoking resistance in Europe and North Africa are at work here.These dynamics have begun to play out in the recent struggle in Wisconsin against Governor Walker's draconian anti-union legislation. Join the International Socialist Organization and Adam Sanchez, a member of the Portland Association of Teachers and ILWU Local 5 who has spent the last few days in Wisconsin and will be reporting back on the struggle. Come discuss the evolving crisis, the resistance to austerity, and the Wisconsin turning point for US Labor.

******

Stand with Wisconsin: An Injury to One Is an Injury to All!
Friday, February 25, 4pm
Director Park (SW Yamhill and SW Park) - map

Please distribute widely!

Join us this Friday, February 25, at 4pm as we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin as well as Ohio, Indiana and other states where attacks on working people are happening.  Wear red (Wisconsin color).  Bring your banners.  Bring your signs of solidarity.  More info on the
 Jobs with Justice website.

What else can I do?

Here are a couple of ideas. Sign the We are Wisconsin petition and check out the videos.  Donate a pizza from Ian's for the demonstrators in Madison.  Ian's reports orders from 45 states and 12 countries including Egypt.  The number to call is 608-257-9248.

More on Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, workers, students, faith, immigrant rights groups, LGBT groups, women's groups, all sectors of labor, environmental groups, and more continue to occupy the state capitol and more in numbers that are climbing to over 80,000 people.

In states across the country, workers are fighting back against corporate-backed lawmakers who are trying to use state budget problems as an excuse to gut workers’ rights and benefits, when in fact it was Wall Street’s gambles and broken promises that have hurt taxpayers and the middle class—not workers. CEOs are trying to shift the blame for high unemployment and rising poverty levels away from themselves and onto workers and our unions.

The fightback in Wisconsin is historic -- please join us on Friday.

Steve Snyder
Portland Jobs with Justice

Reminder: follow-up to Rethinking Schools/PAT event, this Friday

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Dear friends,

Reminder:

Please join us for the follow-up to December's Portland Area Rethinking Schools/Portland Association of Teachers forum at Jefferson High School, "Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools -- and what can we do about it?" 

Our upcoming forum this Friday the 4th asks the question:

"Should Teachers Be Evaluated Based on Student Test Scores?"

    Friday, February 4
    4pm - 6 pm (4 pm social; 4:30 program)
    Sunnyside Environmental School (Auditorium)

          3421 SE Salmon St., Portland

In preparation for our conversation, please read Wayne Au's article in the latest issue of Rethinking Schools, "Neither Fair Nor Accurate": http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/25_02/25_02_au.shtml(But come even if you haven't had time to read the article. We will have copies available.)

The idea of tying teacher evaluations and job security to student test scores is in vogue. Here is the opening from Au's article: 

"A pitched battle raged in my hometown of Seattle this fall. Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and the Seattle Public Schools district fought with the Seattle Education Association over their most recent teachers’ union contract. At the heart of the dispute: Should teacher evaluations be based in part on student scores on standardized tests?"

In an editorial in the Denver Post, Stand for Children's Jonah Edelman praised the Colorado legislature for passing Senate Bill 191, which in Edelman's words, "requires that teachers and principals receive annual evaluations to determine effectiveness, measured in part by student academic growth."

Of course, these initiatives are going on all around the country, egged on by the Obama administration's Race to the Top.

Is this the best we can do? What alternatives can we imagine to improving teaching and learning, and evaluating teachers?

See you at Sunnyside.

Bill Bigelow
for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

Rethinking Schools gathering/Feb. 4th

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Please join us for a follow-up to December's Portland Area Rethinking Schools/Portland Association of Teachers forum at Jefferson High School, "Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools -- and what can we do about it?" which featured a talk by Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp. 

Our upcoming education forum asks the question:

"Should Teachers Be Evaluated Based on Student Test Scores?"

Friday, February 4
4pm - 6 pm (4 pm social; 4:30 program)
Sunnyside Environmental School (Auditorium)
3421 SE Salmon St., Portland

In preparation for our conversation, please read Wayne Au's article in the latest issue of Rethinking Schools, "Neither Fair Nor Accurate": http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/25_02/25_02_au.shtml(But come even if you haven't had time to read the article. We will have copies available.)

The idea of tying teacher evaluations and job security to student test scores is in vogue. Here is the opening from Au's article: 

"A pitched battle raged in my hometown of Seattle this fall. Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and the Seattle Public Schools district fought with the Seattle Education Association over their most recent teachers’ union contract. At the heart of the dispute: Should teacher evaluations be based in part on student scores on standardized tests?"

In an editorial in the Denver Post, Stand for Children's Jonah Edelman praised the Colorado legislature for passing Senate Bill 191, which in Edelman's words, "requires that teachers and principals receive annual evaluations to determine effectiveness, measured in part by student academic growth."

Of course, these initiatives are going on all around the country, egged on by the Obama administration's Race to the Top.

Is this the best we can do? What alternatives can we imagine to improving teaching and learning, and evaluating teachers?

See you at Sunnyside.

Bill Bigelow
for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

Rethinking Schools: defending and transforming public schools

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 Volume 25, No. 2, WINTER 2010-2011: Saving our Schools from $uperheroes

The winter issue of Rethinking Schools, now online at www.rethinkingschools.org, is packed with articles to fuel the grassroots movement to defend and transform our public schools. Here's a sampling:

One of the scariest attacks on teachers this year links our salaries and job security to student test scores. It sounds so reasonable to people who don't know anything about it. Need ammunition for a school board meeting or the PTA? In "Neither Fair Nor Accurate: Research-Based Reasons Why High-Stakes Tests Should Not Be Used to Evaluate Teachers" Wayne Au offers six clear explanations why "value-added measurements" don't make sense for teacher assessment.

Fight back with great teaching: In Bill Bigelow's "If There Is No Struggle . . ." Teaching a People's History of the Abolition Movement, a role play lets students "become" members of the American Anti-Slavery Society and grapple with the strategic dilemmas of this pivotal U.S. social movement.

As the tragic suicides of lesbian, gay, and transgender youth mount, it is clear we need schools that are safe for students and teachers to be who they are. In "'My Teacher Is a Lesbian': Coming Out at School," Jody Sokolower details her own experiences coming out as a middle and high school teacher and explores questions like: Why, when, and how does it make sense to come out as a teacher? How can you protect yourself? What can straight teachers do as allies?

Our editorial takes on the impact of the escalating anti-immigrant climate, and calls for "Every School a Sanctuary."

This issue of Rethinking Schools also includes two significant investigative reports on Waiting for "Superman": "Superhero School Reform Heading Your Way: Now Playing in Newark, N.J.," by Stan Karp, and Barbara Miner's "The Ultimate $uperpower: Supersized Dollars Drive Waiting for 'Superman' Agenda."

and much, much more. . . .

Check it all out at www.rethinkingschools.org


Read and subscribe to Rethinking Schools magazine, and purchase Rethinking Schools publications at www.rethinkingschools.org. || Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/rethinkschools. || Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rethinkingschools. || Opt-in to our email notices at www.rethinkingschools.org/about/join_e-list.asp.

Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit publishing and advocacy organization. We rely on the generosity of our donors and volunteers.

 

Sonia Nieto and Stan Karp talks posted

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Both Sonia Nieto's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice conference keynote and Stan Karp's December 10 talk ("Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools, and What Can We Do about It?") are now available. Below is the cable TV schedule for Sonia Nieto's address and the web info for an audio and transcript of Stan Karp's talk.

All the best,

Bill Bigelow
for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

1. Sonia Nieto:

From Dan Handelman, Flying Focus Video (ffvc@flyingfocus.org)

On October 2, Sonia Nieto, a prominent writer on multicultural education, delivered the keynote address at the 3rd Annual Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference at Madison High School in Portland. Nieto's talk
is the subject of the next two episodes of our weekly show, the Flying Focus Video Bus, in shows we're calling "Diversity and Thriving in Schools."

In her talk, Nieto uses interviews with teachers from around the country to address questions such as, "What does it mean to thrive?", and topics like "Teachers who know their students well have a better chance of thriving," "Teachers who have confronted their own assumptions and biases are effective with students of diverse backgrounds."

"Diversity and Thriving in Schools" plays back at the following times:

Part 1:
   Wednesday, December 15 at 11 PM on Channel 23 Comcast and
   Friday, December 17 at 9:30 PM on Channel 11, Cable Access Network,
      Portland.

Part two plays back the following week:
   Tuesday, December 21 (late night Monday, December 20) at 12:30 AM on
       Comcast Channel 22
   Wednesday, December 22 at 11 PM on Channel 23 Comcast and
   Friday, December 24 at 9:30 PM on Channel 11, Cable Access Network,
       Portland.

This show was taped by FFVC member PC Peri and produced by fellow FFVC member Dan Handelman. Thanks to Rethinking Schools and the other organizers of the conference.

DVD (or VHS) copies of the show will be available in late December for a suggested donation of $14 plus $4 postage. Donations of any size are always welcome to help support our work.

2. Stan Karp

Go to the www.notwaitingforsuperman.org site and scroll down to "Listen Online" to hear Stan Karp's talk, "Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools, and What Can We Do about It?" December 10, sponsored by Rethinking Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers. Also check out all the great analysis and commentary about the film, "Waiting for 'Superman'" and the so-called reform agenda that the film expresses. A transcript of Karp's talk will be posted at thewww.notwaitingforsuperman.org site soon. 

Dec. 10: "Not Waiting for Superman," with Stan Karp

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Remember, that next week we are co-sponsoring a talk by Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp with the Portland Association of Teachers:

"Not Waiting for Superman: Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools -- and What Can We Do about It?"

When: Friday, December 10, 4-6 pm (4 pm, social; 4:30, program)
Where: Jefferson High School cafeteria -- 5210 N. Kerby St., Portland
Free/Refreshments provided

There is a lovely color flier you can download at our www.portlandrethinkingschools.org website.

As many of you know, Stan Karp has written some of the finest education policy articles that have appeared in Rethinking Schools magazine, and he is regarded as a national expert on No Child Left Behind and Obama's Race to the Top initiative.

Given the escalation of attacks on teachers, teacher unions, and public schools, this couldn't be a more timely event. Please join us next Friday and spread the word to friends and colleagues. 

Also, Rethinking Schools is having a huge holiday sale, this month only, with all books and subscriptions 25% off. Take advantage of this best-of-the-year discount at www.rethinkingschools.org or by calling the 800 number: 800-669-4192. Important: you need to enter or mention the discount code to take advantage of the offer: 5BHL10.

Best,

Bill Bigelow
for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

Portland Association of Teachers and Rethinking Schools present:

NOT WAITING FOR SUPERMAN

WHO'S BASHING TEACHERS AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

A CONVERSATION WITH RETHINKING SCHOOLS EDITOR, STAN KARP

Stan Karp taught English and Journalism in Paterson, NJ for 30 years.  He now directs the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey's Education Law Center and is an editor of Rethinking Schools magazine. 

Karp has written widely on school reform for Education WeekEducational Leadership, and other publications. He is a co-editor of several books, including Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice, and Rethinking School Reform: Views from the Classroom. Karp coordinates the www.notwaitingforsuperman.org website for Rethinking Schools.

Jefferson High School cafeteria
5210 N. Kerby St., Portland

Friday, December 10
4-6 pm (4 pm, social; 4:30, program)

Free/Refreshments provided

Dec. 10th: "Not Waiting for Superman" / Stan Karp

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Coming up on Friday, December 10th, we are co-sponsoring an event, "Not Waiting for Superman: Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools and What Can We Do about It?" featuring a talk by Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp. Given the escalation of attacks on teachers, teacher unions, and public education itself, it's crucial that we make sense of what's going on, and talk about how to respond. Details below. Spread the word.

Linda Christensen
for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

Portland Association of Teachers and Rethinking Schools present:

NOT WAITING FOR SUPERMAN

WHO'S BASHING TEACHERS AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

A CONVERSATION WITH RETHINKING SCHOOLS EDITOR, STAN KARP

Stan Karp taught English and Journalism in Paterson, NJ for 30 years.  He now directs the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey's Education Law Center and is an editor of Rethinking Schools magazine. 

Karp has written widely on school reform for Education WeekEducational Leadership, and other publications. He is a co-editor of several books, including Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice, and Rethinking School Reform: Views from the Classroom. Karp coordinates the www.notwaitingforsuperman.org website for Rethinking Schools.

Jefferson High School cafeteria
5210 N. Kerby St., Portland

Friday, December 10
4-6 pm (4 pm, social; 4:30, program)

Free/Refreshments provided

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.