Interested in starting a conversation with colleagues about a social justice topic in education that relates to your practice? Submit a proposal to facilitate an Inquiry to Action Group. ItAGs are 6 — 8 week spaces for educators from across the city to learn and take action around a theme. All are welcome to facilitate. Complete this form by December 1st to propose an ItAG for 2016. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without a doubt, this is probably the most exciting time in WE’s brief history:
- In September WE announced its Leadership Bid and Listening Campaign; and have been covered by most major papers in the city. (The Notebook here and here, The Tribune here and here, The Daily News, City Paper, Raging Chicken Press here and here).
- Through the listening campaign, the Caucus has heard from educators from every part of the city about what they love about their jobs, the obstacles they face, and their ideas for how we can strengthen our union.
- All that data is currently being compiled into a platform that truly represents the democratic power of educators in Philadelphia.
And on November 14th, The Caucus of Working Educators will host its Annual Convention. Every educator and education advocate is invited to join us for a day of skill-building, workshops from education and union experts from across the country, and…kicking off the official 2016 election platform and slate!
151 N 4 St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Lunch, childcare, and parking provided free of charge.
WE are working to build a member-driven, democratic union that can defend and transform public education– but your ideas and passion are needed to make it possible. Join for the whole day or any part of it (make sure you get some lunch, too). Even if you can’t make it, please forward this info to a Philadelphia educator you know that might be interested.
9:30-10:00am- Breakfast and Registration
10:00-10:45am- Opening Plenary: “Race, class and the future of our union”, Brian Jones (NyCORE/MORE)
- Organizing to Win: How to Have Effective Conversations that Move People to Action
- #WEarethePFT: Carrying our Message through Social Media and Beyond
- Internal Union Elections: Know Your Rights
12:00-1:00pm: Lunch (catered by school employees from Taggart Elementary)
1:00-2:15pm- Workshop Session 2
- Organizing to Win: How to Have Effective Conversations that Move People to Action
- Lessons from Recent Labor Victories: Open Negotiations, Hunger Strikes, Charter Protests, and more
- It Takes More Than a Strong Caucus: Grassroots Fundraising for Our Election Campaign
2:15-3:30pm- Closing Plenary: Announcing the 2016 Leadership Slate and Election Platform!
When? Thursday, November 5. 6-8pm
Where? Science Leadership Academy, 55 N. 22nd St.
What? Part of buiding the collective power of students, teachers, families, and community is leading our own engagement into the work together. Inquiry to action groups are spaces for all invested in education for liberation and social justice to learn alongside each other around a theme, and plan actions for communal sharing and uplift at TAG’s annual conference this April. If you are interested in leading, facilitating, and/or co-creating a space, join us to learn about past itags, writing a short proposal of your idea, and how to mobilize community within and outside of your school to participate. Share the word and see you soon.
Past ItAGs have included…
•Black Music as Rebellion * Hip Hop: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly * Queer Issues in Education * • Social Justice Unionism * Content Focus Groups ** Teaching Ferguson *
6th Annual Education for Liberation Conference:
Centering Racial Justice in Our Fight for Public Education
Saturday, April 25th, 2015
9:30 — 4:00pm
At this year’s TAG conference, we invite participants to connect the national fight for racial justice to the local transformation of Philadelphia’s education system. Together we will reflect on our practice and experiences, imagine new possibilities, and activate ourselves to do the work that will create the school system Philadelphia students deserve. Join us.
Currently, the fight for racial justice is at the forefront of our national conversation. There’s a reinvigorated movement to address the systemic racism within the nation’s criminal justice system. How is this mobilization and raised consciousness informing our fight for quality public education? What are the implications for changing the foundations of our schooling system and re-energizing our classroom practice?
Meanwhile, the fight for quality public education is at the forefront of our local conversation. Debates rage over excessive standardized testing, charter vs. public schools, fair funding, and local control. How does a racial justice analysis shape our approach to these issues? In a city where we are educating mostly low-income students of color, how are we ensuring that we center our work on their lived experiences, needs, and successful futures?
This year’s conference highlights include a panel that lifts up the voices of young people of color, a diverse set of workshops that highlight a range of education topics, and a gallery of student work from around the city.
Register today and spread the word!
Register Today! / Volunteers, Tablers, Workshop Proposals: Click here!
This year’s conference will build the power and impact of on-the-ground educators across Philadelphia by creating space for you to learn, connect with each other and develop the skills necessary to transform education in our city, both within classrooms and beyond those walls.
Keynote Address (10:00-10:45)
Social Justice in Classrooms and Schools: Why We Must Transform Teachers’ Unions
Lois Weiner, author of The Future of Our Schools, is a life-long teacher union activist and educator and has been an officer of three union locals. She is internationally known for her work on urban teacher education and is a powerful voice for the possibility of teacher unions to transform public education landscapes.
Tables with curriculum resources (10:45-11:15): These will also be available throughout the day.
Morning Workshops (11:15-12:45):
- Black Music As Rebellion
- Removing the Blindfold from the Elephant in the Box under the Rug: Valuing Multicultural Identities in Schools
- Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
- Telling Untold Stories in the Fight for Public Education
- Freak Ladies Fight Back: How art can help us liberate our souls and liberate our peoples
- Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project
Lunch Time Meet-Ups (1:00-1:30):
- Social Studies
- ELL & Bilingual
- Charter Accountability/Organizing
- WE Caucus
- TAG Future Leaders
Afternoon Workshops (1:45-3:15):
- VISUAL THINKING: think + draw + learn
- History Making Productions: Learning Through Media
- The Power of Student Voice
- Teacher Facilitated Professional Inquiry Groups
- Listen Up!: Youth-Produced Media in the Classroom
- School Discipline 101: Know Your Rights!
- Caucus 101: What is the Caucus of Working Educators?
See you there!
Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGs) bring together educators from around the city to explore topics related to social justice in education, and then create an action connected to what they learned. ItAGs take place over a six to eight week period in February and March.
Join us for our Kick-Off event!
Wednesday, Feb. 12th at Science Leadership Academy (55 N. 22nd Street) from 6-8 PM.
- Meet all of the facilitators for this year’s ItAGs
- Give input on ItAG meeting times if you join their group
- Network with other TAG members
You do not have to attend the kick-off to participate in an ItAG — the schedules and meeting times will also be posted after the event. However, we encourage you to attend, especially if you are thinking about participating in more than one group, or want to suggest a meeting time that works for you!
Black Music as Rebellion: The African American history curriculum woefully neglects the role of music in developing political and social consciousness. We will explore the intersections of Black music and social action with other teachers, and build a curriculum or lesson ideas to supplement our classrooms.
English Content Area Meet-Up: English teachers will meet up to discuss a common concept, idea, or challenge. Topics may include project-based learning, non-canonical texts, skills instruction, real-world writing, and more.
Leveraging Student and Faculty Voice to Improve Your School: Participants will investigate a range of models that incorporate student/faculty voice into classroom and school decision-making structures. We will all identify a specific school-based problem, design and implement a student/faculty voice project around it.
Locally Relevant Mathematics with the Community Based Mathematics Project: This ItAG will focus on how to make the learning of mathematics more relevant and engaging for students in our community. We will use locally relevant contexts to increase students’ access to mathematical knowledge and skills for thinking critically about the world around them.
Partnering through Mentoring: In this ItAG, we will explore qualities and strategies for effective peer mentoring partnerships in teaching within schools and professional communities. Topics will include sharing ideas for connecting mentors and mentees, areas of focus for mentoring, and building a mentoring community.
Philadelphia as Classroom: An Inquiry into Connected Learning Experiences: This ItAG will develop ways to partner local institutions and professional communities for student learning experiences beyond classroom walls. We will use the Connected Learning framework, which pushes for more interdisciplinary problem solving, critical thinking, and communication in student learning to inform the dialogue.
Social Justice Educators on the Path to Cultural Relevancy: Participants will build on discussion of research as well as personal and classroom experiences to hone their abilities to make their classroom/context more relevant with respect to linguistic diversity, socioeconomic groups, ethnic heritage, and more. We will work towards collaborative action that reaches beyond our ItAG.
Social Justice Unionism: Teachers will develop a greater understanding of what social justice unionism means and collectively figure out how it translates into our current reality, both as organized teachers in the PFT and largely unorganized charter school teachers.
Social Studies Content Meet-Up: This group is intended to serve as a space for a “meeting of the minds” among Social Studies educators. Potential topics are thematic teaching, authentic assessment, teaching source analysis, student-centered inquiry, balancing content with skills, and more.
Using Teacher Research to Create Powerful Classrooms: Each participant will develop a personal research project aimed at strengthening classroom practice and generating knowledge for other educators. Join us if you are an educator who asks questions aimed at improving your practice and are interested in seizing the opportunity to answer them.
The TAG Summer of Action continues. You’ve done your reading, and now it’s time to reach out to your neighborhood to do some educating and organizing! As the recent Committee of 70 report put it, “this crisis is the worst we’ve ever seen” — and too many people are still in the dark about it.
If you’re a PFT Member, we encourage you to sign up for one of their Monday morning training sessions. (If you’re unsure about which week to pick, go for the training on August 19 – TAG leaders who are also PFT members will be running the training!)
Whether you train with the PFT or not — whether you’re a PFT Member or not — we invite you to participate in one (or more) of our Door-knocking Days this August. Check out the details below.
You know what’s at stake:
• The Doomsday Budget is still in effect — with thousands of our colleagues laid off from our schools and essential programs still cut.
• The School District is pretending like we can open our schools in September, even as we all know it will be impossible and dangerous with our schools stripped down to such barebones.
• The Governor, State Legislature, and top Philly CEO’s are taking aim at our profession, forcing deep concessions from the new PFT contract, and trying to break the strength and future of the teachers union.
• A whole new set of schools will be on the chopping block next year.
THIS IS NOT TIME FOR BUSINESS AS USUAL. We must learn how to be stronger and more effective organizers if we are going to confront the massive attack on public education, wrestle back control, and create schools that are in line with our values.
Organizer Training: Getting Skills to Save our Schools
Wednesday, July 17th
1:30 – 4:30pm
4233 Chestnut St (Media Mobilizing Project offices)
Facilitated by lead organizers from the Philly Student Union
Register Here — it’s Free!
Come learn how to:
- Be a more effective speaker on the issues we’re facing
- Have intentional “organizing conversations” in order to move people to get involved and take greater action
- Build more power at your school and in your community
- Talk to coworkers, administrators, parents, students, politicians and community members
This will also get you ready for the summer doorknocking that TAG is doing with the PFT and PCAPS.
Unfortunately, the PA budget has not provided us with what we need. Our politicians are choosing to abandon public schools. No one will save us except us — so we need to take charge as teachers and community leaders and remind the public that our schools belong to everybody.
Announcing TAG’s 2013 Summer of Action!
Take Action with these four easy steps:
1. Educate Yourself. Read up, if you haven’t yet:
“The Coming Revolution in Public Education” — national perspective from The Atlantic.
“Corbett Plan for Philly Falls Short of $180 Million” — detailed breakdown of what the state (hasn’t) pledged, via the Notebook.
“The Solution to US Public Schools is Not Corporate America” – Local journalist Dan Denvir connecting Philadelphia to larger trends.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more regular posts of this kind! We also recommend the Network for Public Education’s feed for the Northeast, as well as their Facebook page.
2. Be a perpetual megaphone. Too many folks in Philadelphia — and across the country — have no idea what’s going on in our schools, or what major forces are out to dismantle public education. Make sure that your family, friends, neighbors, and especially your school community knows what’s up! Share the above articles, show people the big picture and let them know that “austerity” and “shared sacrifice” are just a cover for a bigger, deliberate political agenda.
3. Get Trained. Now that you know what you’re talking about, you need some skills in getting the word out there! Mark your calendars for our organizer training on Wednesday, July 17th from 1:30 – 4:30 PM, hosted by the experts from the Philadelphia Student Union at the offices of the Media Mobilizing Project (4223 Chestnut Street.) Register here for the training!
4. Take it to the streets. Watch your e-mail for an invitation to canvassing days across Philadelphia, organized by PCAPS. Teachers, students, and parents will be working together to raise the consciousness of our city, one household at a time.