In partnership with Integrity in Education, we're launching #WeAuthorize Wednesdays today, May 7th!
We invite everyone, each week, at any time of day or night, to begin to link together and lift up a larger and just vision for education and policy.Get all the details on the IDEA Blog and help us kickstart the #WeAuthorize conversation on Twitter.
Learning Call celebrating Freedom Summer
Join in to learn about the Freedom Summer Youth Congress from two IDEA organizers on the planning committee for this awesome youth focused event.
Get Ready to Bid!
Ever wanted to learn how to play a guitar? Looking for a new piece of art for your wall? Have an educational dilemma you're needing help with?
IDEA's first-ever Skillshare Auction starts next week and might have just the thing you need. It's a fun way to share the skills, talents, and knowledge of the IDEA community while also raising money for the work we do.
IDEA Learning Report April 2013 - January 2014
As a Reggio Emilia teacher makes visible the learning and conversations she sees unfolding in an early childhood classroom, this Learning Report is an invitation into the documentation, stories, and learning coming from the experiences of the IDEA Community over the past several months. Download IDEA's Learning Report.
In partnership with Integrity in Education, we’re launching #WeAuthorize Wednesdays today, May 7th!
It’s time to define a new course of action for American education policy in the 21st Century – one that helps to make visible the tremendous positive educational innovation developing at America's grassroots, and that is informed by the wisdom, creativity and foresight of young people, educators and the communities they serve.
This weekly twitter holiday is one way to get started.
Let’s begin to accomplish what our elected officials cannot do alone – re-authorize a federal education policy that is six years overdue, and re-imagine American public education in ways that make it more equitable, engaging, and relevant for all communities.
We invite everyone, each week, at any time of day or night, to begin to link together and lift up a larger and just vision for education and policy.
Bonus challenge: Shoot a video of yourself or hold a mock congressional hearing with the testimony you think needs to be heard. Then tweet it. Shout to Tupac for showing us how it’s done.
If you have additional questions or comments please email or even comment at the bottom of this blog.
From September 18-22, participants of IDEA's first-ever Learning Breakthrough Series will come together once again for Learning Session B in the beautiful, profound Isla del Encanto - Puerto Rico!
The second of our gatherings, Learning Session B, brings teams back together to share and explore the reality of what's happened in their home contexts post Learning Session A, to look for the intersections and learning from what is causing desired changes, to dig further into what is distinct and common across each team’s work in education across these four drivers of change, and to ground their work in the culture, history, and reality of the Puerto Rican nation.
IDEA’s organizing teams will be joined once again by the emerging New England Youth Organizing Network and the NY Education Justice Team (Urban Youth Collaborative / Center for Educational Justice). If you want to tune-in and follow along, there are great video-overviews of each team's activity during the Series' first Action Period, and we'll be blogging more as the Series move forward!
One of IDEA's favorite gentlemen, Sam Chaltain, has a freshly published brand new book titled Our School: Searching for Community in the Era of Choice. It's already got some great reviews, and for all the right reasons!
Our School is the first book I've read to share the honest human story of our current educational landscape. Sam weaves the lives of children and teachers together, along with the larger questions we all face about the future of learning in the U.S. As a result, Our School provides the emotional inflection points that are often missing from our growing national debates.
- IDEA Executive Director, Scott Nine
Almost every major American city is experimenting with school choice--a deeply controversial idea that is dramatically reshaping public education. Will the wider array of school options help parents and educators identify better strategies for helping all children learn? Or will the high stakes of the marketplace end up privatizing this most public of institutions? Education activist Sam Chaltain believes that before we can answer these questions, we must put a human face on the modern landscape of teaching and learning. Our School documents a year in the life of two schools in the nation's capital--one a new charter school just opening its doors, the other a neighborhood school that first opened in 1924. Chaltain weaves together the observations and emotions of the people whose lives intersect there, and the triumphs and the challenges they experience. The result is an unsettling, complex portrayal of American public education. Our School is important reading for educational policymakers, administrators, parents, the media, and anyone who aspires to be a teacher.
* Specific recommendations for creating a healthy, high-functioning school.
* A detailed account of what school choice actually looks and feels like to the people who experience it.
* A vivid description of the modern classroom and what it's...
We would love everyone to be reading and talking about the newest issue of YES! Magazine.
The crew @yesmagazine took the time to research and put together an education issue that helps illuminate both the challenges and the possibilities being created by grassroots and national actors, to reimagine and reclaim the "public" in public education.
It offers a frame of what’s happening in education that puts an expose of corporatization alongside David Sobel's writing on learning outdoors, and links the testing boycott popularized by Seattle's Garfield High School with the growth of social emotional learning and a great story on restorative justice practices in Oakland.
We think it speaks to an emerging movement that may not yet be fully coherent or connected but is as visible in this issue of YES! as at any moment prior.
4 steps to spread the word
1. Follow this link to sign up for a free issue of the current magazine
2. Get a subscription for a friend or colleague
3. Follow @yesmagazine on Twitter
4. Spread the issue on Facebook
Tools like this issue give credibility and provide great entry points to start or deepen conversations in your community, school, or district around education. We hope you can celebrate and make use of individual articles as well as the larger frame it offers across the pieces.
Journey for Justice (J4J) is a national grassroots group that is actively holding “Listening Projects” and can use additional support. The goal is 200 listening projects across the U.S. and Puerto Rico by .
IDEA held a call with J4J’s National Director Jitu Brown this week and we’ve put together this documentation from the call, which contains all the links and information you need to support or hold a Listening Project in your community.
Providence Student Union never ceases to amaze me... In my opinion they are some of the most intoxicating change-makers to follow, and so I love any opportunity to share what they are up. This news letter came to me last week in a subscribed update. Not only did they take their message to the State House, but the local news covered the event, and from the way it looks the participants had a fun time demonstrating too. Check it out, and subscribe to PSU's emails on their homepage - you won't regret it.Last week, the Rhode Island General Assembly got quite a surprise when an enormous pack of guinea pigs and lab rats took over the State House for an afternoon.
|That's me at the podium, standing in front of some of my guinea pig friends. Behind us are state legislators - a few of them even wore ears and whiskers!|
|Lindsey, the "scientist" from the Department of Education, with her NECAP syringe.|
On January 22nd, IDEA held our first "Network Learning Call." The goal of these calls are to bring our extended community together to discuss and learn about topics key to democratic education and school and community change efforts.
Our initial NLC focused on arguably the most important federal legislation on education, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and in particular the impact ESEA has had on historically marginalized communities since it's initial passing in 1965. You may know ESEA by the title it was given during the most recent re-authorization of the law: No Child Left Behind, passed in 2001.
Moderated by IDEA National Fellow and EdWeek blogger Nancy Flanagan and IDEA Director of Change Work Crystal Mattison, the call featured 3 wonderful panelists:
Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions
Ana Helvia Quintero, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Puerto Rico
Le Roy Shingoitewa, member and former Chairman of the Hopi Indian Tribe and former teacher and school administrator
The call was held through the Blackboard Collaborate platform (thanks to Steve Hargadon for helping us secure this platform). Check out the full recording of the panel and discussion, or you can read the notes from the call.
A dynamic conversation took place concurrently on Twitter, led by IDEA Storyteller David Loitz, and you can see the Storify recap here.
A couple quotes to spark your interest:
Maya Rockeymoore: We have policy that serves as a bait and switch - while it claimed to be for academic achievement for low income and children of color, a number of policies undermine that goal. . . If you want highly qualified teachers to teach students who are historically disadvantaged, the last thing they’d want is to have their promotions and pay structured on test scores. . .
Policy can be used for good too. If you want, for instance, better quality counselors, and this is something...
IDEA's "No Spectators" fundraising campaign ends today. And the first thing I want to communicate is gratitude. We’ve received a donation or pledge from more than 125 people raising over $35,200. Thank you.
IDEA’s work will continue to go on, just like your own, because when you’re not a spectator you keep finding new ways to move what needs to move forward.
In wrapping the campaign, we want to make one final push today and also acknowledge that we did not meet our larger goal. And we feel like you deserve to know, in broad terms, what that means. For now, no big changes. But we are facing a sizable hole in our budget come March that staff is working hard to fill from grants, value-aligned corporate support, and more gifts and pledges as they can come in. We aren’t desperate - if anything we’re digging in, shoring up, and resolved to find ways to continue to will the dreams, work, and connections of IDEA forward.
We know you’re giving all you can and that we’ve asked as much and in as many ways as we can conjure, hopefully without exhausting you. We know you are the choir. You are the people who see the importance of making connections, of weaving networks, of finding new narratives and new ways to organize, and we know that you are IDEA.
Thank you. Thanks for organizing. Thanks for risking. Thanks for trusting. Thanks for storytelling and sharing. Thanks for sending us money and thanks for asking others.
Few things powerful happen in the world without those ingredients,
Add a comment and join the conversation on IDEA's Facebook page.
It’s currently -11 degrees outside, and while we’re used to winter in Vermont, this is cold. Living in a challenging climate demands that we work together to ensure the health and safety of our community - visiting our homebound neighbors and making sure their heat is on and there are groceries in the fridge, helping to shovel out our neighbor’s car when we have five extra minutes in the morning and they’re scrambling to get to work or school, and making sure that students don’t leave my classroom or school without a winter coat or gloves. Through constant vigilance, communication, and cooperation we strive each day to ensure that no one in our community faces the challenges of a New England winter alone.
It’s this spirit of cooperation that I see, just barely, beginning to take root here in Vermont around our education system. As an advocate for school change I have long noted the difficulty of working in a larger “system” where few components of our school system communicate with each other. The federal government passes down a list of requirements, some funded, others not; the state legislature establishes policies in line with those requirements; school boards work on budgets heavily dictated by those policies, hopefully in line with local needs and resources; principals do everything they can to anticipate and respond to the needs of their local students, parents, and teachers; while in all of this teachers do their best to teach and students do their best to learn. Each and every member of this system is vital for its health, and yet far too often the health of the system is sacrificed for lack of efficiencies: interconnectivity between stakeholders may be tenuous at best, contentious at worst; feedback loops are ineffective or non-existent; everyone is dissatisfied with the results, and far too often we never question the very “results” we’re seeking.
Which is why what I saw last Monday gives me great hope for the future of education in Vermont....