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Why they’re marching – Jonathan Kozol


this is the first in a series of diaries about the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action that I will be posting in the runup to the the March itself on July 30

Jonathan Kozol is a distinguished author and educator.  In this blog post by Anthony Cody, he participates in a conversation you ALL should read.  Let me offer this to whet your appetite.   Anthony asks “Why have you decided to participate in the Save Our Schools March on July 30th?”.   Here is Kozol’s answer:  

-I’ll be in Washington for S.O.S. because I’m sick of begging members of the Senate, even those among them who have been my friends for years, to move two inches in the right direction. I’m tired of complaining. And I’m too old to bite my tongue and mute my words out of politeness and respectfulness for politicians who tell me in private that they share my views about the practices and policies that demean our teachers and threaten the survival of our public schools, but then refuse to stand up and denounce these policies in public.

Kozol’s answer continues below the fold

I think, like many of my oldest friends and youngest allies who will be at S.O.S., it’s time for us to get up off our knees in front of this enormous juggernaut and stop bargaining for crumbs. I’ve begun to see a movement of resistance growing now for several years. I’ve seen courageous teachers speaking up and reaching out to others. And I’ve seen the tide of activism start to rise, and surge, among our students and the parents of those students.

I think a moment of critical energy has suddenly emerged. But moments like this come and go unless we seize them at their height.

Let me repeat the link for our website.

You can go there to read about our four guiding principals.

You can see the people and the organizations that have endorsed us.  Today we found out the Washington (state) Education Association has joined in support of us.

You can read about the speakers who will address before we march, noted figures in education like Linda Darling-Hammond, Angela Valenzuela, Pedro Noguera, Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch.   Matt Damon, whose mother Nancy Carlsson-Paige is herself a noted figure in education, is flying in from filming on the West Coast to speak to us.   And Jonathan Kozol is also speaking to us

In the conversation with Anthony Cody, Kozol points out that we have been moving to a resegregation of our schools, and that the inequalities are now greater than they were in 1992, when he wrote his powerful book Savage Inequalities (and here’s a google search that will provide lots of links about the book and related videos).

We expect thousands.  We don’t know how many.  The conference before the March is now oversubscribed.   There is still lots of room on the Ellipse.  

We hope you will join us if you can.

If not, check our website for related events happening around the country.

And if you can, consider contributing to help us make this march successful.

The March is not the end, but will be the beginning of an ongoing process to change the discussion on education, this time including the voices of teachers, of parents, of concerned citizens.

We ask for your support.

We thank you in advance for considering our request.

Thank you for reading this posting.

Please help make it, and the ones that will follow, more visible.

We do this for the children we teach.

We do this for the future of our schools, and thus the future of our nation.



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