"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Picket the Koch Heads Education Privatization Meeting in Nashville July 22

The Badass Teacher of Tennessee need to saddle up, along with any other folks in Tennessee that care about public education.  6 PM at the Renaissance Hotel July 22.  If you need pamphlet ideas or one page handouts, let me know.  Can't be there--teaching that week.  Be sure to contact the TV stations for coverage.

From Joey Garrison:
A group led by one of the conservative Koch brothers, increasingly scorned by liberals nationally as they extend their influence, is hosting an education forum in Nashville next week focused on school choice and opportunities for parents.

The Charles Koch Institute, a nonprofit founded and named after the CEO and board chair of Koch Industries, has billed the event — “Education Opportunities: A Path Forward for Students in Tennessee” — as an “in-depth policy discussion” that’s part of a series of nationwide events to improve quality of life as part of the institute’s Well-Being Initiative.

The forum, featuring a panel talk with representatives of charter schools and conservative think tanks, will take place July 22 at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

Moderating the talk will be Shaka Mitchell, who works for Rocketship Education, a California-based charter school organization with an East Nashville location set to open this summer. A second Rocketship school in Nashville has been approved to open in 2015.

Panelists are Jonathan Butcher, education director of the Goldwater Institute; Stephanie Linn, state programs and government relations director of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice; Justin Owen, president and CEO of the Beacon Center of Tennessee; and Steve Perry, principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School, a Connecticut-based charter school.

In a statement announcing the forum, the organization applauds Tennessee’s 2010 move to an outcomes-based funding formula for public universities that’s supposed to reward institutions that meet benchmarks. The group says Tennessee’s K-12 public schools, however, have some of the “most high-profile problems in its urban school districts.”

It alludes to last year’s failed push for school vouchers that would allow public funds to be used for private schooling.
“Can school choice help maximize opportunity, leading to an alleviation of poverty and wider societal well-being?” it reads. “In addition, are there obstacles, such as licensing and standardization in education, that undermine opportunity?”

Reach Joey Garrison at 615-259-8236 and on Twitter @joeygarrison.

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