For Further Information:
Bob George (708) 692-5818
SAVE OUR SCHOOLS PLANS ONGOING ORGANIZING ROLE;
RELEASES FIRST SET OF EDUCATION PLATFORM PLANKS;
ANNOUNCES INITIAL CAMPAIGN OPPOSING “PARENT TRIGGER” SCHEME
To continue its efforts, the Save Our Schools Steering Committee will apply for tax-exempt status, raise funds, and elect officers to guide its growth. The group’s focus will be on developing strategies to ensure grassroots voices are heard on issues such as testing, privatization, and school funding. “We are building a united front to end policies that harm children, teachers and communities,” explained Dr. Elizabeth Hallmark from Rochester, New York, an SOS Steering Committee member. “We are fed up with the failed, ideologically driven strategies that have dominated public education for the past decade.”
SOS has posted several final platform planks, drafted and debated at the recent convention, on its website http://saveourschoolsmarch.com/about-2/peoples-education-principles/. Adopted planks cover civil rights, labor, early childhood education, parent involvement and student voice. Platform proposals still under consideration will be circulated online for feedback and released when they are complete.
As its initial project, SOS is focusing on the Walmart-sponsored “Teachers Rock” fundraiser, to be broadcast on CBS-TV this Friday, August 17. The show will raise money for the controversial organization Teach for America (TFA). “While we support honoring teachers, we oppose giving a portion of the money to a group which undermines educator professionalism,” said Lee Barrios, a National Board Certified Teacher from Louisiana who also serves on the SOS Steering Committee.
“TFA puts poorly-trained, recent college grads into classrooms with the expectation that they will leave in two or three years. That’s not what U.S. schools serving the most needy students deserve.” Next, SOS will conduct informational picketing around the late September release of “Won’t Back Down,” a movie which promotes “Parent Trigger” legislation. Funded by charter school investors, the proposals have not improved student academic performance.
“Our children need positive solutions that help public school improve, not gimmicks that ignore the root problems of education,” concluded Lesley University Professor Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an expert on early childhood education, who was a keynote speaker at the recent SOS convention.
More information about SOS and its plans will be regularly posted online at saveourschoolsmarch.org