I hosted a phone conference today (link to the playback is here) with members of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and members of the Rochester (NY) Teachers Association, who told the Denver contingent about how they created bonds with parents and community to successfully defeat an initiative launched for mayoral control of the Rochester City Schools district. They kept their coalition alive and strong, fortunately, because now they’re working with community as the Community Education Task Force, under the umbrella of the The Parent and Community Coalition for Educational Change. They have become a powerful force to be reckoned with, in their fight against their Broad Foundation-trained Superintendent Brizard and his destructive brand of “education reform.”
The Denver contingent heard many, many familiar patterns during the presentation, and they now have a better perspective of the nationwide impact of the corporate-reform agenda. Parents were also on hand to listen in, and as parent Kathy V. stated, “Interesting topic and conversation. I am just starting to become involved in school advocacy and hearing the perspective from other progressives with similar challenges is inspiring. Hopefully this will give those of us in support of public education the energy we need to make necessary changes for the betterment of the children and the education system.”
The Denver teachers truly appreciated the camaraderie offered by their counterparts in Rochester, and they took to heart the Rochester contingent’s advice to demand more from their own union. It was incredibly heartwarming to hear teachers comforting each other, encouraging each other, and sharing values.
The Rochester contingent said, in no uncertain terms, that to survive, teachers need to band together with parents and community.
The presenters were:
- Ricardo Adams: Ricardo_ppu@yahoo.com
- Mary Adams: Maryb_adams@urmc.rochester.edu
- Mark Friedman: email@example.com
- Howard Eagle: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Community Education Task Force can be found at http://communityeducationtaskforce.rocus.org/.
The call lasts just under an hour. Click here to listen.