Report from Oakland
||From left_ FairTest's Monty Neill_ Julie Woestehoff_ Steven Norton_ Mary Battenfeld's sister and Mary_ Deb Mayer_ Zerlina Smith_ Khem Irby_ and Pamela Grundy
It started out pretty smoky -- winds from the Santa Rosa
fires reached us in Oakland, and several of our leaders
were delayed getting into San Francisco due to poor
While we missed them at our planned PAA dinner on
Friday, things took a pleasant turn when Diane Ravitch
and NPE executive director Carol Burris shared a quick
meal with PAA's Khem, Deb and Julie and Julie's husband
We had a few more at a fun dinner on Saturday night >>>>>
Our all-PAA session on Saturday vividly demonstrated how PAA helps connect, equip and empower parents to more effectively address the national privatization agenda as well as their local struggles, producing a stronger national voice of progressive parents to counter the false narratives about parent "choice."
Our panel included moderator Dora Taylor (PAA-Puget Sound) and (from left to right below) Mary Battenfeld (QUEST- Boston), PAA Board of Directors member Zerlina Smith (PAA-Chicago), Khem Irby, PAA president and founder of PAA-Greensboro (NC) and The Mothers' Agenda (NYC), and PAA interim director Julie Woestehoff providing tech support.
|Mary Battenfeld_ Zerlina Smith_ Khem Irby_ Julie Woestehoff
By sharing stories and strategies, we encouraged parents and others to keep fighting, and to model the ways we learn from each other and are able to put that knowledge to work.
We also broke into small groups for discussion led by our panelists and PAA leaders Deb Mayer (PAA-Oregon) and Steven Norton (Michigan Parents for Schools).
You can view the power point presentation from this session
You can view the power point from the FairTest-led session on assessment alternatives, with Julie Woestehoff,
Several sessions are also available to view on
NPE's Facebook page
Successful screening of "Backpack"
Some conference attendees were also able to go to a screening Thursday evening of the Matt Damon-produced documentary "Backpack Full of Cash," which exposes the attack on public education by privatization forces. Leader of PAA-Bay Area Eileen Brown organized the screening and moderated the event. She reported that some 200 people were there.
The film features PAA founding members Helen Gym and Karran Harper-Royal. Both are highlighted on a special
on the film's web site. Reviews of the film were rave!
Screenings cost a reported $650. PAA is working on funding sources to help cover that cost. You can contact the production team for more information about bringing a screening to your area, and see a schedule of upcoming showings around the US