This Week in Education Organizing - July 13, 2018

Failing Brown v. Board: A Continuous Struggle Against Inequity in Public Education – Get your local elected officials to join this webcall. July 17.

 Last month, the Journey for Justice Alliance released a myth-shattering report that exposes deep inequities in public education across race and class. The report examines course offerings in pairs of schools—one predominantly Black, the other mostly white--in 12 cities. The survey revealed significant differences in the opportunities and options for students between schools. Join J4J on July 17th at 10:00 central time, to discuss their findings with local elected officials, and to find out what can be done legislatively to bring about equity locally and nationally.  J4J is inviting interested participants to get local elected officials—school board members, city council members, state legislators and/or members of Congress—to join you on the call.  The Failing Brown v. Board Equity Report can be downloaded at www.j4jalliance.com

For more information or to register go to here or call (773) 548-7500.

Youth-Led Groups Call on DeVos to Maintain Discipline Guidelines

More than 100 student activists gathered in front of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington this week for a “People’s Listening Session,” calling on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to maintain Obama-era guidelines aimed at addressing racial bias in school discipline policies. Young people from the Center for Popular Democracy, Make the Road New York and the Urban Youth Collaborative from New York, Connecticut and Florida attended the action.

Secretary DeVos is chairing a White House school safety commission—established after the school massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—to address how to protect schools and students from such incidents. DeVos has said that discussions about guns and gun control would not be part of the Commission’s inquiry, but that the Obama-era discipline guidance would be on their docket. She said the commission will consider whether to rescind the guidelines over concerns that they burden school districts and potentially keep violent students in the classroom.

The youth-led groups also visited the offices of members of Congress, urging them to sign a pledge and to end all federal grant programs that fund police, SROs (School Resource Officers) and security infrastructure in schools. They also called for an end ot the “school-to-deportation” pipeline and for investment in restorative justice, and mental health supports and resources for schools, students, and families."

Boston Education Justice Alliance Presses for Funding Reform

The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance gathered 150 students, parents, teachers and community organizers from across the state on Thursday to protest the Massachusetts House of Representatives leaving out English Language Learners and low-income students in a bill they passed that would update the State's school funding formula. Following the demonstration, activists took to the State House to deliver letters to House Leadership and question key sponsors of the bill on their decision to leave ELL and low-income students behind.  

Racial Justice and Bargaining for the Common Good: July 24 Webinar

Racial justice should be lifted and centered in everything unions do if they are truly going to win transformative campaigns. But how do we bring real racial justice demands to the bargaining table? What are some examples of what these demands can look like? This webinar will focus on racial justice bargaining demands from several different groups including education, public infrastructure workers, workers in non-bargaining states, and the private sector. Strategies for identifying and running racial justice campaigns will be discussed, and participants will hear from organizers who have made this shift effectively. Join the webinar on July 24th at 3:00 eastern time. Register HERE. 

Wakanda Parent Power School in New York City

Calling all education justice warriors!!! The Coalition for Educational Justice in New York City is hosting Wakanda’s first Parent Power School on Culturally Responsive Education. Here’s what the invitation announces:

“Unleash your creativity as we paint a picture of Wakandan schools and envision an equitable and empowering educational experience for our children. Through brainstorming, team building and plenty of imagination, we will learn skills and strategies to make that vision a reality in NYC schools.

Join parents from around the city to imagine and take inspiration from life as parents in Wakanda. Together, we will come up with our own answers to...

•             What do public schools in Wakanda look like?

•             How do Wakanda public school teachers and administrators interact with parents?

•             What do Wakanda public school students learn?

•             And most importantly, how can we as parents work together to turn the fantasy of Wakanda into a reality in NYC public schools?”

The training is being held on Saturday, July 21st beginning with breakfast at 9:30 and continuing until 2:00pm. It’s taking place at NYU and breakfast, lunch, child care and Spanish translation is available. If you’re in NYC and want to attend, you can learn more HERE.


UPCOMING EVENTS

July 17:  10:00 central time. Journey for Justice Alliance webcall for elected officials. “Failing Brown v Board: A Continuous Struggle Against Inequity in Public Education. For more information or to register go to here or call (773) 548-7500. 

July 21:  9:30 – 2:00 eastern time. Coalition for Educational Justice “Wakanda Parent Power School” training focusing on Culturally Responsive Education. If you’re in NYC and want to attend, you can learn more HERE. 

July 24:  3:00 eastern time.  Racial Justice and Bargaining for the Common Good. Webinar and discussion on incorporating racial justice in to collective bargaining agreements.  Register HERE.


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