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Curtis Acosta in Portland, April 18! "Teaching and Organizing for Justice"

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

Please join us:
 
What: A Conversation with Curtis Acosta, a key organizer of Tucson's successful (and now-banned) Mexican American Studies program: "Teaching and Organizing for Justice."
When: April 18; 4 - 6 pm  (social, 4 to 4:30; program at 4:30)
Where: Madison High School
More information and (free) registration: go.lclark.edu/graduate/justice
 
 
Join Rethinking Schools and the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College for this public talk with Curtis Acosta to learn more about the successful Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in Tucson, Arizona schools, and Acosta’s curriculum, stance, and strategies that changed Latina/o students’ lives and academic achievement.
 
Curtis Acosta has taught high school for nearly 20 years in Tucson, where he developed and taught Chicana/o Literature classes for the renowned Mexican American Studies program. An award-winning educator he has been featured in the documentaryPrecious Knowledge, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and his classes were subject of multiple profiles by CNN, PBS, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. Acosta’s articles have appeared in multiple publications and he is the founder of the Acosta Latino Learning Partnership, an educational consultation firm. He is also a founding member of the Xican@ Institute for Teaching and Organizing (XITO), which supports the Xicana/o-Latina/o community through teacher preparation, social justice pedagogy, and community organizing.
 
Discussion will focus on how the MAS curriculum spoke to students previously failed by Tucson schools, and what we can learn for Portland-area schools.
 
Co-sponsored by the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark, and Rethinking Schools. Registration: go.lclark.edu/graduate/justice. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Fall Rethinking Schools: Of Mice and Marginalization

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To PARS from the editor at Rethinking Schools magazine.       

        

Dear Friend of Rethinking Schools:

"Of Mice and Marginalization," by English teacher Michelle Kenney, is the cover story for the fall issue of Rethinking Schools. Under pressure from parents, Kenney assigns a classic: Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Her students' reactions—from cutting class to lifting essays off the internet—lead to a deeper understanding of what's wrong with "the canon."
 
A few more of the engaging, thought-provoking articles in this issue:
In "Standing Up for Tocarra," Tina Owen describes her dilemma when a homophobic minister preaches about the "sin" of a transgender student at the student's funeral.
Bill Bigelow uses a classroom mixer to introduce students to Bill McKibben's important article on "Global Warming's Terrifying New Math." Check out "The Mystery of the 3 Scary Numbers."
In "Rethinking Shit: Excrement and Equity," social studies teacher Noah Zeichner and his students explore the worldwide sanitation crisis.
"Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education," by Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp, puts the history of charter schools in context, then analyzes their current role and impact.
You won't want to miss our editorial on school closings, "Clear-Cutting Our Schools," and much, much more!
 
A note for nonsubscribers:
We're happy to make a number of articles from this issue free for nonsubscribers. But your subscriptions (and donations) sustain our work. If you like what you're reading, subscribe now for just $19.95. With your new subscription, you'll gain access to the entire fall issue and to our archives.
You'll also help ensure that we keep bringing you the kinds of articles you count on Rethinking Schools to deliver.
 
Thanks and take care,
Jody Sokolower
Managing Editor

This Saturday: NW Teaching for Social Justice Conference!

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,
 
This Saturday, Oct. 19, is the 6th Annual Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference in Seattle. www.nwtsj.org. Chief Sealth International High School. Please join us for this inspiring festival of social justice education. Keynote speaker is the brilliant educator, Curtis Acosta, one of the key people behind Tucson's (excellent, but now-outlawed) Mexican American Studies program.

The conference features almost 60 workshops, including ones by Rethinking Schools editors Linda Christensen, Wayne Au, and Adam Sanchez. Special musical guest, David Rovics: "Troubadour: Teaching People's History Through Music." Teacher and Rethinking Schools editorial associate Jesse Hagopian anchors: "Scrap the MAP: How to Boycott a Standardized Test." Dozens of community organizations and publishers displaying their wares -- including Rethinking Schools. 

 
For a full conference program and to register: www.nwtsj.org. Help with housing in Seattle is also at the website.
 
If you need help carpooling, please send me an email at bill@rethinkingschools.org.
 
Bill Bigelow for Portland Area Rethinking Schools

October 17th: Our Schools Belong to the People, Not to Corporations

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Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends, 
 
Sent to us by Oregon Save Our Schools and Social Equality Educators:
 
Join educators, students, parents, and community members to protest the damaging corporate influence AND lack of public input in decisions affecting Oregon's schools, neighborhoods, and families.
 
IT'S OUR TABLE: Public Funds for the Public Good!
Decisions by the People for the People!
Thursday, October 17th
Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
5:30pm
 
•       At the 13th Annual Oregon Business Association's (OBA) Statesman Dinner, corporate lobbyists will be wooing state representatives and local officials on how they want public funds spent for their interests.
 
•       The OBA's Statesman Dinner will be recognizing 2013 Statesman of the Year Honoree, Sue Levin, Executive Director of Oregon's Stand for Children.  The OBA and Stand for Children have been pushing a lock-step corporate education reform model that values high-stakes testing, charter schools, weakening of teacher unions and public pensions, while at the same time ignoring the effects of poverty on our children and families.   Levin and the OBA are pushing education "reforms" in line with corporate interests at the expense of our communities' health. Now is the time to take back our schools and neighborhoods.
 
•     We, the people, should be sitting at the decision making table, not corporate lobbyists. State representatives and local officials should be coming to the people’s table and asking us what OUR priorities are for OUR children, and how we would like OUR money spent.
 
•      Please join us on October 17th to make the public's voice heard at the people's table and rally! See what education items you want to select from our "menu" versus what big business wants to sell you from theirs.
 
 •      We demand that Oregon schools adopt policies designed by professional educators driven to serve our children rather than those designed by businessmen driven to serve corporate profits. We demand that the needs of the people be placed above the wants of a wealthy few. These are OUR public schools, and they are not for sale!    
 

Our schools belong to the PEOPLE, not corporations! 

Stan Karp, plus NW Teaching for Social Justice Conference

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,
 
First, thanks to all of you who attended the recent talk by Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp, "The Trouble with the Common Core." It was a powerful presentation, filled with humor and insight. It is now posted on YouTube and more than 2,000 people have already watched it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOXsidQNXuk&feature=youtu.be.
 
We hope that you'll be able to attend the upcoming 6th annual Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference in Seattle: Saturday October 19, Chief Sealth International High School, Seattle. Those of you who have attended know what an inspiring and knowledge-filled conference this is. Register at www.nwtsj.org. Please let me know if you need a ride or can offer a ride and I will send out a list to ride-havers and ride-needers. Send to bill@rethinkingschools.org.
 
The tentative program of almost 60 workshops is now posted at the www.nwtsj.org website. Keynote speaker is Curtis Acosta, the remarkable Tucson teacher ("star" of the film Precious Knowledge), who was a key member of the now-outlawed Mexican American Studies program. Other highlights: David Rovics, "Troubadour: Teaching Peopls's History Through Music"; Linda Christensen, "Trayvon Martin: Turning Tragedy into Critique"; and Jesse Hagopian anchors a presentation on "Scrap the MAP: How to Boycott a Standardized Test".
 
Dozens of community groups and publishers -- including Rethinking Schools -- will display their wares. Free lunch included with registration. $30; $5 for all students. Please register by Oct. 9 so we can get an accurate count for lunches.
 
Finally, if you need housing in Seattle, contact Dan Troccoli, dantroccoli@gmail.com, who is helping connect people  coming into Seattle with people there who have rooms to share.
 
Please forward this email. See you in Seattle.
 
Bill Bigelow for the Portland Area Rethinking Schools steering committee

NW Social Justice Conference Schedule available

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Dear Northwest Teaching for Social Justice friends,
 
We have now posted a tentative schedule for the upcoming NWTSJ conference at Chief Sealth International High School, Seattle, Saturday, October 19.  Details at www.nwtsj.org.
 
Please register early. It helps conference organizers in our planning process. 
 
Workshops, films, music, resource fair (and food!) ... check out the remarkable conference line-up: www.nwtsj.org.
 
Please spread the word. We're thrilled with this year's sessions. 
 
Bill Bigelow
for the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference planning committee
 

P.S. Sponsoring organizations include Puget Sound Rethinking Schools, Portland Area Rethinking Schools, the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis and Clark College, Oregon Save Our Schools, and Rethinking Schools magazine. 

Reminder: Stan Karp on the Common Core, this Friday

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,
 
Reminder: This Friday is Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp's talk, "The Trouble with the Common Core." Please join us for this special event. (And remember to register for the exciting Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference, Oct. 19 in Seattle -- www.nwtsj.org.)
 
What: Stan Karp, speaking on "The Trouble with the Common Core"
When: Friday, Sept. 20 -- 4 pm - 6 pm (4 pm social, 4:30 program)
Where: Westminster Presbyterian Church, The Great Hall; 1624 NE Hancock (2 blocks north of Broadway)
Free
 
Plenty of parking, refreshments provided.
 
Background:
 
It isn’t easy to find common ground on the Common Core. Already hailed as the “next big thing” in education reform, the Common Core State Standards are being rushed into classrooms in nearly every district in the country.
 
Although these “world-class” standards raise substantive questions about curriculum choices and instructional practices, such educational concerns are likely to prove less significant than the role the Common Core is playing in the larger landscape of our polarized education reform politics. 
 
During this gathering, Karp will discuss both national and local implications of the Common Core. Participants will also share their own stories and questions. Come prepared to both listen and talk about how school reform is changing education. 
 
Stan Karp is currently Director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center, one of the nation’s most successful advocacy groups supporting the right of public school children to equitable, high quality education. Previously, he was a lead teacher in Paterson, New Jersey where he taught English and journalism to high school students for 30 years. 
 
He is also an editor of Rethinking Schools and has written widely on school reform and educational policy for Education Week, Educational Leadership and other publications. He has co-edited several books, including Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice, and Rethinking School Reform: Views from the Classroom
 
Co-sponsored by Portland Area Rethinking Schools, the Center for Community Engagement and the Oregon Writing Project at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. 
 
 
Bill Bigelow for the Portand Area Rethinking Schools steering committee
 
P.S. Remember the upcoming Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference. Saturday Oct. 19. Chief Sealth International High School, Seattle. Registration: www.nwtsj.org.

Teaching for Social Justice Conference, Oct. 19

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

 
We've been putting together the agenda for this year's Northwest Teaching for Social Justice conference, and it looks great. Many highlights. Curtis Acosta, a brilliant teacher in Tucson's now-outlawed Mexican American Studies program, will be keynoting, and in a workshop session, Acosta will show parts of the important film, Precious Knowledge, and answer questions. We've just added a session by the acclaimed singer/songwriter David Rovics -- "Troubador: Teaching People's History Through Music." Seattle teacher and Rethinking Schools editorial associate Jesse Hagopian will lead a panel discussion: "Scrap the MAP: How to boycott a standardized test." And Jill Freidberg will lead a session on her popular film about education and resistance in Mexico, Un Granito de Arena. Register today at www.nwtsj.org. And like us on facebook.
 
When: Saturday, October 19
Where: Chief Sealth International High School, Seattle
Details: www.nwtsj.org
 
And there will be lots of workshops by Rethinking Schools editors and writers, including Linda Christensen, Wayne Au, Adam Sanchez, Özlem Sensoy and Beth Marshall (editors of Rethinking Popular Culture and Media), Tim Swinehart, Brian Gibbs, Katy Swalwell, Noah Zeichner, Katharine Johnson, and Katie Kissinger. Topics include science fiction and social justice, teaching against Islamophobia, using the Hunger Games to teach social class, talking about skin color with young children, rethinking mathematics, education and capitalism, and many, many more.
 
Dozens of community organizations and publishers will also be displaying their wares in a Resource Fair.
 
Join us for this inspirational and idea-packed event. Re-ignite your commitment to social justice teaching and quality education for all.
 
If you need a ride to Seattle or have a ride to offer, please email me at bill@rethinkingschools.org, and I will collect these and send them out so you can make arrangements amongst yourselves. Need help with housing in Seattle? Email Dan Troccoli: dantroccoli@gmail.com.
 
See you in Seattle.
 
Bill Bigelow 
for the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference organizing committee
 
P.S. The conference is sponsored by Puget Sound Rethinking Schools, Portland Area Rethinking Schools, Social Equality Educators (Seattle and Portland), the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis and Clark College, Oregon Save Our Schools, and Rethinking Schools magazine.

Next week: Stan Karp on "The Trouble with the Common Core"

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

 
We're about a week away from Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp's talk, "The Trouble with the Common Core." Please join us for this special event.
 
What: Stan Karp, speaking on "The Trouble with the Common Core"
When: Friday, Sept. 20 -- 4 pm - 6 pm (4 pm social, 4:30 program)
Where: Westminster Presbyterian Church, The Great Hall; 1624 NE Hancock (2 blocks north of Broadway)
Free
 
Plenty of parking, refreshments provided.
 
Background:
 
It isn’t easy to find common ground on the Common Core. Already hailed as the “next big thing” in education reform, the Common Core State Standards are being rushed into classrooms in nearly every district in the country.
 
Although these “world-class” standards raise substantive questions about curriculum choices and instructional practices, such educational concerns are likely to prove less significant than the role the Common Core is playing in the larger landscape of our polarized education reform politics. 
 
During this gathering, Karp will discuss both national and local implications of the Common Core. Participants will also share their own stories and questions. Come prepared to both listen and talk about how school reform is changing education. 
 
Stan Karp is currently Director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center, one of the nation’s most successful advocacy groups supporting the right of public school children to equitable, high quality education. Previously, he was a lead teacher in Paterson, New Jersey where he taught English and journalism to high school students for 30 years. 
 
He is also an editor of Rethinking Schools and has written widely on school reform and educational policy for Education Week, Educational Leadership and other publications. He has co-edited several books, including Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice, and Rethinking School Reform: Views from the Classroom
 
Co-sponsored by Portland Area Rethinking Schools, the Center for Community Engagement and the Oregon Writing Project at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. 
 
 
Bill Bigelow for the Portand Area Rethinking Schools steering committee
 
P.S. Remember the upcoming Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference. Saturday Oct. 19. Chief Sealth International High School, Seattle. Registration: www.nwtsj.org.

Stan Karp in Portland: Trouble with the Common Core

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Dear Portland Area Rethinking Schools friends,

 
We're delighted that Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp will be back in Portland, speaking on "The Trouble with Common Core." Those of you who have heard Stan Karp speak at previous Portland engagements know that he is one of the country's sharpest critics of the corporate school reform agenda, and is a witty and engaging speaker.
 
What: Stan Karp, speaking on The Trouble with Common Core
When: Friday September 20, 4 - 6 pm (4 pm social; 4:30 pm presentation)
Where: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Great Hall, 1624 N.E. Hancock (2 blocks north of Broadway)
Free. Everyone welcome.
 
Lots of free parking in the area. A healthy 10 min. walk from the Max.
 
It isn’t easy to find common ground on the Common Core. Already hailed as the “next big thing” in education reform, the Common Core State Standards are being rushed into classrooms in nearly every district in the country.
 
Although these “world-class” standards raise substantive questions about curriculum choices and instructional practices, such educational concerns are likely to prove less significant than the role the Common Core is playing in the larger landscape of our polarized education reform politics. 
 
During this gathering, Karp will discuss both national and local implications of the Common Core. Participants will also share their own stories and questions. Come prepared to both listen and talk about how school reform is changing education. 
 
 
Stan Karp is currently Director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center, one of the nation’s most successful advocacy groups supporting the right of public school children to equitable, high quality education. Previously, he was a lead teacher in Paterson, New Jersey where he taught English and journalism to high school students for 30 years. 
 
He is also an editor of Rethinking Schools and has written widely on school reform and educational policy for Education Week, Educational Leadership and other publications. He has co-edited several books, including Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice, and Rethinking School Reform: Views from the Classroom
 
Co-sponsored by Portland Area Rethinking Schools, the Center for Community Engagement and the Oregon Writing Project at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.