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

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Who is subsidizing the Save Our Schools March in Washington D.C. on July 8th and 9th?

by Jim Horn and Ken Derstine
June 11, 2016

This article is also posted at Defend Public Education!

Scholarships for 100 people are being offered for the Save Our Schools March in Washington DC on July 8th and 9th.

The scholarships include transportation costs; hotel rooms starting at $129 in a high cost area of DC; and breakfast/lunch on Saturday. All for a $25 registration per person.

Who is paying for these costs? At $200 per person that is $20,000. Is this an independent march as it portrays itself or is this an AFT/NEA event (and, therefore, a backdoor get out the vote for Hillary Clinton event).

Bob George is the national director.

Only in the last line of his SOS biography does it say: "Senior Vice President Education Company committed to equal access quality education.”

Shouldn’t it be known to participants that the National Director of SOS is a former Senior Vice President of a software company involved in CBE? Will there be any discussion of the danger to public education of Competency-Based Education (CBE) at this march?

George's previous company, Catapult Learning,  is heavily into software for student assessment.

On the Facebook page of his current company, Empathy Educates, it says the company is a (bold face added):

Cyber-community for Educators; Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Pupils, Principals, Professors, people who care in all professions. Each is a teacher, today and tomorrow. We invite you to ponder, peruse, participate…EmpathyAndEducation.org

Collectively, we, at EmpathyEducates.org join in a more expansive forum. EmpathyEducates is yours, my, our cyberspace classroom. Here, whether we think ourselves a teacher or a student, we learn so that we might grow and glow.

EmpathyEducates.org is a world of cooperation experienced through cyberspace collaborations. The net neighborhood is a place where Parents, pupils, Principals, Administrators, Corporate Presidents, Professors, Producers, people, from every walk of life come together to discuss concerns that they think vital. Empathy and Education are evident and explored in every aspect of life.
If you look at the program, where in the March is space provided to discuss strategies to push back against the post-ESSA education reform where online digital education and non-profit community partners (via credit bearing Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO's) will render neighborhood schools obsolete?

Except for opposition to standardized testing, a look at the Washington March program indicates a program that any corporate education reformer would be comfortable with. (See "The Limits of Social Justice Unionism" at Ms. Katie's Ramblings.) Where is the fight against the Pearson, Common Core, charter schools, the agandas of Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Walton Foundation? Where is the organizing for a fight against corporate education reform?  Against segregated schools and classrooms? Against the testing mandates, charter giveaways, and CBE incentivizing of ESSA?  Is anyone there talking about even commenting on the proposed 192 pages of ESSA implementation guidelines??

Yoga, anyone? How about martial arts as social justice?  Or a session on developing some "social justice unionism" with the head of an AFT affiliate and member of The Union Reform Network (TURN)?

But here is our favorite, with ESSA apologists from FairTest (click below to enlarge):


  1. Anonymous3:03 PM

    What may I ask is a teacher-controlled tool? It was my understanding that the goal was to control teachers. It is very confusing. I must say.

    Abigail Shure

  2. I fear teachers,who possess way too many cooperative genes, find it very very hard to say "No!!!!" In reality, the only way to save the schools is to REFUSE to cooperate with corporate domination.

    Extended Learning has this to say (http://www.expandinglearning.org/expandingminds/article/promise-extended-learning-opportunities-new-powerful-and-personalized-options) about Common Core: "The advent of the Common Core State Standards—a nearly universally adopted set of learning standards in the United States—is a step forward for those who seek a greater and better focus on complex skills and knowledge within applied settings."

    I'd say people association with Save Our Schools march should heed Jim Horn's warning and watch their step. There's a lot doo-doo around.

  3. Anonymous9:49 PM

    It is virtually impossible for a public school teacher to refuse to cooperate with corporate domination if she wishes to maintain her employment.

    Abigail Shure

  4. Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines.

    This is a bit like one of those Zombie movies where you are not sure who is still human and who has been taken over. Teacher controlled? That phrase can be taken 2 ways. On the other side, don't movements have to make some concessions to form coalitions and bring in more people? The left is famous for schisming itself into oblivion. Susan B. Anthony proved this by uniting many different woman's groups for a common cause. This, of course, is a much more complicated time. Spin doctoring has changed everything. I hope that those 200 scholarships go to some innocent teachers who bring some fire back home with them. One question, if a teacher refuses to use a teacher controlled tool, is it still teacher controlled?

  5. Susan B. Anthony was able to unite women's groups for the vote after two decades of battling the kinder, gentler version of begging men for the vote led by Lucy Stone. We are faced now with the a choice: keep the demand on ending standardized tests, segregated classrooms, and corporate education, or to join the begging tour led by the corrupt leaders of the national corporate unions.

  6. I hear you, Jim. How do you compromise in an uncompromising situation? It is a matter of principle. The everybody under one Tent argument falls apart when you realized someone thinks they own the tent and they put it up at night when no one was looking. This is the discussion we must have.

  7. Let me know when that discussion is planned. I'll make a point of being there.