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 on Schools Matter.


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:

Authentic Assessment and Shared Responsibility

Monty Neill – FairTest 

The new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) allows states to overhaul their assessment systems, including use of teacher-controlled tools and processes, incorporate a wider range of evidence of student learning and school quality, and to replace punishment with assistance. This session will explore how states and districts can take advantage of the opportunities and avoid dangers. We will present concrete examples, including NY Performance Standards Consortium, Learning Record, New Hampshire’s pilot performance assessment system, and California’s community-based accountability. Participants will discuss the pros, cons and potential complications of various options for assessment and accountability.
Age range: youth – adults

Also see:

Weingarten Coopts United Opt Out National
Schools Matter - August 16, 2016 

States Rights and ESSA
Defend Public Education - March 3, 2016 

Turning "Collaboration" Into a Bad Word
Defend Public Education - April 12, 2015

Which Side Are You On?
Defend Public Education - July 14, 2014