Sunday, January 19, 2014


Network for Public Education 2014 National Conference 

Robin Hiller | Executive Director | | (520) 668-4634


January 19, 2014

The Network for Public Education has announced a national gathering of public education activists. The organization’s first National Conference will take place at The Thompson Conference Center at the University of Texas at Austin on March 1 & 2, 2014 - the Saturday and Sunday before SXSWedu. The conference will feature more than twenty panels and workshops, keynote speakers, and networking opportunities for education advocates from across the United States.

The NPE 2014 National Conference will feature a keynote address by education historian and best-selling author (and NPE President) Diane Ravitch. Chicago Teachers Union President, Karen Lewis and Texas school district Superintendent John Kuhn will deliver a joint conference address. A panel addressing the Common Core will feature American Federation of Teachers President, Randi Weingarten, blogger and education activist Anthony Cody, writer and researcher, Mercedes Schneider, teacher and blogger Jose Luis Vilson, Chicago teacher Paul Horton, and early-childhood education expert Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin.
The Network for Public Education was formed by Ravitch in 2013 and has become a prominent voice in the education reform debate. During the November 2013 elections, NPE rallied support for successful school board candidates in Bridgeport, CT, Seattle and Atlanta. The 2014 National Conference will be an opportunity for NPE to coordinate its network of education activists from across the United States in preparation for the 2014 elections.
“We are bringing together allies from around the country who really know what is happening on the ground in their own states and communities. One of our main goals in forming our network was to create a means to support candidates willing to defend public education,” said Anthony Cody, an NPE co-founder with Ravitch. “By gathering together, we hope to build real momentum, making 2014 the year we turn the tide in the fight for our schools.”
The NPE Conference will bring together leading activists in education from across the country and will feature some of the nation's most dynamic school administrators, such as Montgomery County Superintendent Joshua Starr, and New York's Principal of the Year Carol Burris. Parent activists will include Leonie Haimson of New York, Karran Harper Royal from New Orleans and Helen Gym of Philadelphia. Teachers will be well represented, with panels that include Michelle Gunderson and Xian Barrett of Chicago, Kipp Dawson of Pittsburgh, and Phyllis Bush of Indiana. A panel on "Framing Our Message" will include Jeff Bryant, Sabrina Stevens and Bertis Downs. Bob Schaeffer of FairTest will be joined by the leader of the Seattle MAP test boycott, Jesse Hagopian in discussing the movement to push back high stakes tests. Student activists will be well represented as well, with leaders from the Providence Student Union, and Stephanie Rivera and Hannah Nguyen, founders of Students United for Public Education. This year the movement to opt out of high stakes tests is picking up steam and United Opt Out co-founder Peggy Robertson will share UOO’s latest plans. Professors Sonya Horsford, Paul Thomas, and Julian Vasquez Heilig will discuss the latest research that sheds light on which reforms are truly working to serve our students, and Tim Slekar will discuss the role and future of teacher education. Investigative journalists Jason Stanford, Joanne Barkan and Mercedes Schneider will share ideas and tips from their work uncovering the truth about corporate education reform and destructive philanthropy. Veteran educators Deborah Meier and Mike Klonsky bring decades of experience as activists to panels on organizing resistance and building movements. University of Texas scholars Angela Valenzuela and Deb Palmer will discuss issues related to English Language Learners and high stakes testing. Recently elected school board candidate Sue Peters will be there to share lessons from her victory against well-financed corporate reformers in Seattle.
On her popular blog, NPE President, Diane Ravitch remarked on the importance of coming together for the purpose of strengthening our education system.
“Our movement demands a positive agenda for change based on love of learning, respect for educators, and dedication to the healthy development of children as good people,” Ravitch said. “We hope you will be there and join us as we review the status and condition of our movement to reclaim public education and decide what we should do to grow stronger in the future.” 

For more information about the Network for Public Education 2014 National Conference, go to Registration is currently open and the website contains information about the speakers, panels, accommodations and travel.


  1. While I never argue with the value of educators and activists getting together (and God knows, there never seems to be a shortage of meetings), I am once again bewildered by the failure to include the national assault on teacher pensions as a topic worthy of inclusion - even after I brought it up with these good folks. Some may think this is an local parochial concern of active and retired teachers in Illinois. It's a national assault, and a key part of the corporate education reform agenda. Maybe next time.

  2. Because I was here for a wedding, I am not sure about their regular layout, but the wedding decor was just phenomenal. The dining hall was attached to a beautiful reception room.


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