CORE: Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators


Jackson Potter 
CORE - Caucus Of Rank-and-file Educators 


Wednesday July 6, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM CDT

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Jones College Prep 
606 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60605

Driving Directions 

National Educators' Conference to Fight Back for Public Education 

Speak, learn and share with educators on the front lines in New York, LA, Chicago, Wisconsin, Oakland, Ohio, Indiana and beyond. Plan and organize to promote our vision of an equitable and just education system, for unions that fight for and with our communities, and help build a national grassroots strategy to defend public schools.


8 :00–9 :00 Registration and Breakfast 

9:00–10:00 Opening remarks:

Rafael Feliciano -- Puerto Rican Teachers Union President
Jinny Sims -- former president of the British Columbia Teachers Federation
Bob Peterson – President of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association
Nathan Saunders - President of the Washington Teachers Union
Mari Luz - Mexican Teachers Union activist leader, Trinational Comission
Karen Lewis - Chicago Teachers Union

10 :00–11:30 Transforming Teachers' Unions

Parallel workshops led by different leaders from a mix of our cities – we will detail some broad challenges and opportunities we face as teacher union activists in a time of great adversity. We will look at strategies, alliances and future possibilities that we face together. People in the workshop will be expected to share their experiences and ideas for moving our unions forward.

11:30–1:00 Our Alternate Vision

Topical workshops (see list below). Short introductions followed by discussion on framing the issues from a grassroots reform perspective.

A.   Charters, parent-trigger and Turnarounds

B.   Mayoral take-over and governance

C.   Merit Pay / high stakes testing

D.   Budget Austerity and radical take-overs 

E.   Seniority/ Tenure - teaching evaluation

1:00–2:00 Lunch

2:00–3:30 Building Power Workshops (see below)

  1. A view from Oakland to the whole country.
  2. Community / Teacher Collaborations
  3. The Trinational Coalition
  4. Fighting the Banks who crashed the economy and bankrupt our schools!
  5. Lessons from Madison Wisconsin

3:30-4:30 Structured Discussion on National Collaboration

4:30 - Action!

Building Power Workshops

1. A View from Oakland to the Whole Country:
The Corporate Attack on Public Education - Privatization, Corporatization, Restructuring"
The corporate assault on public education at all levels, from K–12 through higher education, takes many forms. From Waiting for Superman to high stakes testing to corporate charters, they vary tremendously by time and place. Nevertheless there is broader game plan that is being implemented. The workshop will focus on seeing the forest more than the trees, and will continue the public discussion of the bigger picture.   A view from Oakland to the whole country.

2. Community Teacher Collaborations
This panel—featuring leaders from NYC, Chicago, LA, Milwaukee—will discuss ways to link our struggle for professional dignity and high quality schools with broader community concerns about equity, power and fairness. You will hear speakers from around the country sharing best practices, common mistakes and promising developments so you can steal the things that will help you the most on the ground in your school district.

3. The Trinational Coalition
Developing a global critique and resistance to corporate school reform.
Hear from activists from LA, Puerto Rico and Benton Harbor who are fighting some of the worst attacks on public schools and communities of color. Also, connect to a broader community of education activists in the hemisphere who are preparing to meet in the near future to devise better strategies and praxis around the issues that unite us.

4. Fighting the Banks who crashed the economy and bankrupt our schools!
Join Chicago and New York activists who have begun to target the financial sector to raise revenue for jobs, housing and schools. Learn tactics for how to develop a strategic campaign against these forces and turn the tables on the cost cutting, deficit mongering of state capitals and the federal government.

5. Reproducing Wisconsin
Hear from activists from Madison about how they organized against unprecedented attacks and developed one of the most inspiring fight backs the country has experienced.