FYI - Teacher Forum on Saturday

Just talked to John Dunn at the SEA. The forum this Saturday is for SEA members ONLY to bring them all up to speed on the various education reform issues. (It also is not at St. Mark's.)

He did say that if there were events for the public, he would be sure to let me know so I can post those items here if readers are interested.


MathTeacher42 said…
Shutting out others, particularly those being bamboozeled by the Leagues of Afflictions, is one of the absolute worst behaviors in community / political organizations.

What happens is that all these MLK-at-the-Mall or Rove wannabees are constantly fighting over THE tactics, THE strategy, THE resources. In such arenas of mayberry machiavellis, THE goal is to horde as much as possible. The result is ... what most of us nobodies see and experience over and over and over when attempting to 'be active'!

We the nobodies in the typical "grassroots" organization are really like the grass of a cow patch. We the nobodies just wait out in the rain and the elements, until the big boys come along to chomp us up, water on us and poop on us, and once we're used up they wander off to the next cow patch - and once we've recovered they'll be back.

Kennedy V. Carter in MA., Dukakis V. ?? in Boston, Clinton & the 7 dwarfs in '91 in Seattle, ... Gore V. Bradley, Dean V. Kerry, Clinton V. Obama ... it is ALWAYS the same.

ALL community / political organizations face the same sets of problems.

I. organizing specific events.
a. WHAT are we going to do?
b. HOW are we going to to it?
c. WHEN are we going to do it?
d. WHO is we?
e. WHERE are we going to do it?
Control of putting these 5 together is heaven for those looking for supplicants, worshipers and toadies.

II. Matching people to jobs such that people are doing what interests them, instead of what some MLK-on-the-Mall / Rove wannabe wants. The jobs are always about the same - door belling, phone banking, signature gathering, protest, leaf letting, letters to the editor, letters to politicians, calls to politicians, house parties ...

III. matching people up to issues / candidates they are motivated to help, because people will do more for something they care about than for something they're being dragged, guilted or hookwinked into. Make it EASY for people to save the turtles or save the whales or save the librarian or save the PTA or save the playground ...

IF you make it EASY for people to work on issues / candidates, AND,

IF you make it easy for people to do work they don't mind doing or actually prefer, AND

IF you make it easy for people to find out who, what, when, where, and how

THEN you'll have PLENTY of people do doorbell for the whales or stuff envelopes for the swing sets.

Of course, with a robust web site allowing people to organize, who needs the MLK-at-the-Mall / Rove wannabees?

ARB said…
FYI- an actual public event (posting here bc not sure where else to put it... feel free to repost elsewhere):

Mayor's Youth and Family Initiative Special Education Caucus
Tuesday, April 27, at 7 pm, Roosevelt HS Library

The Youth and Families Initiative is an program announced by Mayor Mike McGinn during his inaugural address. The goal of the Initiative is to identify challenges youth and families face and to collectively mobilize towards solutions so that all children in Seattle can succeed. The Initiative will
help shape the Mayor's agenda on issues affecting youth and families from a child's birth to their successful career track. The caucus takes 90 minutes and culminates with each group choosing a delegate to represent its priority issues and potential solutions at the city-wide Congress at Seattle
Center on June 5.

This is a chance to focus specific attention on Special Education issues in Seattle.
seattle citizen said…
While I don't know whay the teacher forum is supposed to be SEA only, I would imagine that rank and file educators that show up would be cheered by a show of support against the reform movment. I'd guess that anyone is free to show up with signs and whatnot outside the doors.
K. said…
Originally this meeting was proposed as a public forum with media, etc. However, so many educators who were present at that meeting felt like they didn't know enough about the issues and their history, that the motion was amended to make it a day to provide information to educators.

It's my understanding that there will be many perspectives on the issues that face schools represented.

The goal from there is to be able to have a membership that has consistent, accurate, and up to date information to communicate with parents, and the community at large.
SE, it isn't even at St. Mark's. Mr. Dunn didn't mention where it is really happening. I think if they wanted the public, it would have public notice.
seattle citizen said…
I've heard from a friend that an SEA building rep told him that it is intended to educate SEA about these issues, but is open to anybody, and that Ms Addae (SEA pres) DID say that it IS at St Marks at 1:30

I don't know why there are mixed messages. I'd recommend that anybody just shows up, and if they can't get in they can at least lend support by hanging around and speaking to the media
K. said…
Seattle Citizen, I'm an SEA Building Rep and have learned the meeting is just for educators for the reasons stated in my post above. From Olga's message to building reps:"This is a panel for educators to learn more about current issues about education."

There will not be media - at least not invited by SEA, as this is an educational opportunity for educators, by educators. As far I as I understand it - it is a pretty laid back affair.

I know I speak for lots of teachers and education professionals when I say that parent support is felt deeply, and means the world to all of us who work for the students we share. This meeting is just an opportunity for us (educators)to educate ourselves as a closed community of employees. This will allow more educators to have conversations with folks like the contributors and posters on this blog - you often have information that we don't get in any systematic format.

In some ways we're (educators) catching up to you (this blog specifically) on issues such as the attempts to corporatize SPS and the Broad foundation. Other areas of conversation are going to be more specific to HR related employment issues as they relate to the buget crisis and education reform.

Thank you again for your voices of support!
MathTeacher42 said…
kmk33 4/23/10 3:15 PM

I am a building rep, and I follow community events more than most of the people I've ever worked with - I've followed community events more than most people I work with or go to school with since I was ... 12 in 1972!

Our members don't know what is going on because our messaging and our "organizing" is in the dark ages on a good day.

I was at a Dec. SEA meeting where Mary Lundquist spoke about using the web, and just wait until Jan. when ... well, whatever she mentioned did NOT happen.

IF there was a WEA / SEA messaging process which was consistent and reliable, a lot more people would know what was going on, or, know where to quickly find out. Instead we get excuses about how some people don't read email so we can't join the 21st century and must rely on High School United Nations shenanigan filled meetings, rely on word of mouth and gossip, and rely on being around when the shards of paper are passed around. Oh yeah - despite the fact that NOTHING we do is new or unique, we can't have much on the web cuz of silly fears about the administration seeing our Big Board,

Ask yourself - how is that 1 political party has occupied the White House for most the last 28 years, has done little good for the vast majority of citizens, has actually done intentional harm to us nobodies of the bottom 90%, has rarely told the truth, and has gotten away with it?

Our "leadership".

Anonymous said…
I respect the union's wishes. I was personally sent a flyer with an invitation to be a part of it and to invite everyone else that I thought might be interested in participating.

If that has changed, they have their reasons.

Olga Addae met with PTSA members on Thursday evening at the Stanford Center and I found it very enlightening.

I had planned to publish my "notes from the field" about the meeting but life got in the way today.

I will post them here and on our new website sometime this weekend.

And to all of you teachers out there, you have my support and appreciation.
Sahila said…
I'm disappointed that the SEA is passing up a chance to dialogue with parents at this event...

We parents have a complementary point of view on these issues and if we managed to work together, we could get some very positive results for teachers, children and parents...

Some parents have been digging up the dirt on what's going on in education for a long time and we have information from all around the country that it might be useful for the SEA to hear...

I am concerned that a further delay in teachers (educators) and parents getting together will work against educators in contract negotiations and will make it possible for the reformist agenda to move forward further, faster...

My gut (a pretty reliable observational tool which I rely on more than my head in my shamanic work) is screaming that the time is NOW for us all to begin work together... not next week, next month or next year...

The SEA has a strong ally in parents, if we can take down the fences that keep each of us on opposite sides... and really thats not such a big task - the differences between us are, in the main, illusionary..
Sahila said…
correction... illusionary should be illusory.... I dont know - not enough sleep and not enough caffeine - vocab mistakes are not a good advertisement for a writer!
Chris S. said…
I went today anyway; a parent who had been specifically invited was unable to go and encouraged me to go in her place.

It is a shame parents were uninvited. I think it would have been a very useful primer for parents and boy, that's where we really need to get the word out. I don't know what they were worried about. Overcrowding? Dirty laundry? What I saw was EXACTLY what EVERY organization experiences: a tension between those trying to work the inside angle and "bend the curve" in their favored direction, and the more radical outsiders who feel that approach is insufficient. I saw healthy, functional, respectful dissent. It was fabulous. And Juanita Doyon, the mom-against-the-wasl, bless her heart, pointed out that both pieces are necessary, and complementary.

I also heard the SCPTSA may be partnering with the SEA for some similar forums for parents, which would be wonderful.

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