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Teachers Unite for Save Our Schools March

Annie Condron

This summer, teachers’ voices will be heard well beyond the confines of a classroom.

Frustrated educators have organized the Save Our Schools: March and National Call to Action to give the power of numbers to their opinions on education reform.  

The Washington D.C. march harkens back to the power of peaceful protest demonstrated during the Civil Rights Movement. Organizers will start with an “Activists’ Conference” leading up to the march on the Department of Education on Saturday, July 30.

The Save Our Schools March cause page on Facebook shows just how much they think this movement can achieve:

“In 1963, over 200,000 concerned citizens marched on Washington to participate in a momentous event that forever shifted the national dialogue on race and justice. Consequently, policy changed. Laws changed. America changed. 

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In 2011, it is our time to change the national dialogue on PUBLIC EDUCATION. 

For over a decade, education laws and policies have been enacted without input from those who REALLY know how to improve our schools and society. And now, as we stand at a critical crossroads in the future of public schools and the teaching profession…

   • The President has a voice

   • The Secretary of Education has a voice

   • Politicians have a voice

   • Corporate billionaires have a voice

   • The media have a voice

 

Finally, the nation will hear OUR VOICE!”

Though unions have shown support, the Save Our Schools March has been organized by individual teachers and is open to parents, non-union and union teachers alike, students and any other supporters of their education reform goals.

Save Our Schools March Goals

  Equitable funding for all public school communities

  An end to high stakes testing used for the purpose of student, teacher, and school evaluation

  Teacher, family and community leadership in forming public education policies

  Curriculum developed for and by local school communities

 

Save Our Schools March Details

The event consists of four days of conferences and a rally leading up to the march.

Conference

For the two days prior to the march, organizers are also holding a conference on education policy and activism. The conference does have a fee, but the march is free and open to everyone. The conference will resume on Sunday, July 31 to discuss next steps in the “Save Our Schools” movement.

 

Rally & March

Supporters are meeting at Ellipse Saturday, July 30 at noon to gear up for the march. Speeches and performances will be given by Diane Ravitch, Jonathan Kozol, José Vilson, Deborah Meier, Monty Neill, Angela Valenzuela, and more.

 

At 2p.m., the group will “march to the Department of Education, where the demands will be read, we’ll chant, and engage in a call for continued action to reclaim schools as places of learning, joy, and democracy,” according to the Save Our Schools March website.

 

 

Save Our Schools March Supporters

A laundry list of educational leaders, universities, teachers of the year, organizations, education writers and bloggers, unions, public officials and others have endorsed the Save Our Schools March.

Here are opinions a few everyday educators and supporters have expressed:

   “Our theme is ‘Waking the Sleeping Giant,’ which was inspired by the events in Wisconsin and other

   places around the country. The public is finally beginning to wake up to what’s been happening

   for the last few years – we’re seeing evidence of this not only in Wisconsin but in places such as

   Seattle and Rochester."

        ~ Kenneth J. Bernstein, blogger and 65-year-old veteran teacher in DC.

“Why are we spending more and more money on testing and less and less on children?
The time to be complacent is over!” ~ N. Creech

"I answered the call to action and will be marching in DC so the voices of my colleagues can be heard when decisions regarding students are made!" ~ Becca R

 

What do you think about the Save Our School March and Call to Action? Are you a supporter or a critic? Share your opinion in the comments section!