“Exit Strategy” at Philadelphia Theatre Company

Continuing our focus on the impacts of school closures in Philadelphia that began with “Witnessing reForm”, TAG has arranged for $10 tickets to a new play about the closure of a Chicago school and TAG member Sam Reed will participate in a panel discussing the play on February 9.

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Continue reading “Exit Strategy” at Philadelphia Theatre Company

Announcing 2016’s Inquiry to Action Groups — Register now!

TAG is excited to present 2016’s Inquiry to Action Groups.  ItAGs bring together educators, parents, students, and community members to focus on topics related to social justice in education, and to take action connected to what they learned.  ItAGs create a space for us to explore, imagine, and work towards creating the schools our students deserve.

Listed here are descriptions of NINE ItAGs, which will convene across the city in the coming months:

  • African American History Curriculum
  • Countering Racial Capitalism for a Just City
  • Creating Grassroots Curriculum
  • Cultivating a Mindful Classroom
  • Feminism is for Everybody
  • History and Memory of the 1981 Teachers’ Strike
  • Math and Social Justice
  • Questioning the World
  • Reclaiming Assessment, Classrooms, and Leadership: Responding to High-Stakes Testing and the Future of Assessment Reforms

Register for ItAGs now!

Then join us at 6:00 on FEBRUARY 11 at SCIENCE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY (55 N. 22nd Street) for a PUBLIC LAUNCH and a chance to meet the facilitators.

Spread the word!  Share the ItAGs list and registration widely, and join the movement for educational equity and justice in Philadelphia: @TAGphilly; #ItAGs2016; #PHLed; www.facebook.com/tagphilly.

For more information, reach out to us at tagphilly@gmail.com.

Support a Game Changer for Education in Philly

Early in 2016, there is an incredible opportunity to change the landscape of education in Philadelphia.  Imagine electing a teacher union leadership committed to actively struggling for social justice through strengthening democracy and empowering teachers across the city.

The Teacher Action Group stands in solidarity with the 
Caucus of Working Educators, a caucus within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) organizing for transformation of our public schools.  The Caucus envisions a democratic and transparent member-driven teachers union.  They are running a slate of inspiring candidates in the upcoming PFT elections in winter of 2016.

Whether you are a member of the PFT or not, please join us to support the work of WE, especially in this critical time!

  • Become a member of the caucus and encouraging your colleagues to join (community allies who are not members of the PFT are also welcome to join).
  • Read and share WE’s platform and build relationships with people around you who connect to its vision.
  • Attend a WhoAreWE Session:                                                          
  • Host a #WhoAreWE session for your colleagues within and beyond your school (contact: kelleycollings@gmail.com for information).
  • #OccupyTheSRC on December 18, 2015 5:00 PM, 440 N. Broad.  Show your support for our schools, students, and teachers.
  • Fundraise and donate to support the election campaign.  Join us for one (or more!) of the following fundraising events:
    • Friday, December 18th: House Party, e-mail contact@workingeducators.org
    • Tuesday, December 22nd 5:00PM: “Meet the Slate Fundraiser”, Son’s of American Legion Squadron #366 Loudenslager, 7976 Oxford Ave.
    • Saturday, December 26th: Painting with a Twist, email contact@workingeducators.org
    • Wednesday, December 30th: “Party for your Right to Fight” (Host: Kelley Collings), 441 W. Earlham Terr.
  • Organize every PFT member to vote in the 2016 election.
  • Help flyer at every school in Philadelphia (contact kelleycollings@gmail.com for information about getting materials and locations)

Questions?  Want to join this effort at a deeper level? Contact Kelley Collings:      kelleycollings@gmail.com215-868-3089

 

Submit an ItAG Proposal by December 1st!

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 tagphilly@gmail.com.

The WE Convention on Nov 14th: Organizing Skills, Union Lessons, and Announcing the 2016 Election Slate and Platform!

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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 hereThe Tribune here and hereThe Daily NewsCity PaperRaging 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!

The 2nd Annual WE Convention
November 14, 2015 at 9:30am – 3:30pm
Old First Reformed UCC
151 N 4 St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Lunch, childcare, and parking provided free of charge.

Please RSVP through the website or on facebook.

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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.

 

Tentative Program:

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)

10:45-12:00pm- Workshop Session 1
  • 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!

ItAG Facilitators Interest Meeting

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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 *

RSVP on Facebook.

After Reading Between The World And Me, Consider What Must Be Done Between Philadelphia and You. We Welcome You to Join Us.

In leading up to the October 16th event at the Free Library, Teacher Action Group Philadelphia convened two community roundtables for the truths and stories provided by Ta-Nehisi Coates to emerge significant lessons for local students, educators and the greater Philadelphia community. Through our inquiry, we seek to urge audience members to recognize that the issues that make Between The World and Me such a powerful text is more than a true human story, but a present living history that is actively plundering, assaulting, and burdening Black life in Philadelphia. There is much work to be done to transform cross-sector public policies that have collided to create and collectively reinforce the conditions that underwrite the undeserved suffering in many Black and Brown neighborhoods within Philadelphia. This stands beyond yet inextricably intertwined with the personal necessity of interrogating and transforming harmful attitudes and beliefs that make such policies justifiable. Furthermore, let this be a reminder that there are many local organizations, with only a few named below, who have deep histories of organizing Philadelphia community members to reckon with many of the concrete realities that his book draws to the surface.

Click below to read the entire piece by TAG member Chris Rogers at Medium.

After Reading Between The World And Me, Consider What Must Be Done Between Philadelphia and You.

Announcing the 2015 Mayoral Report Card

Philadelphia 2015 Mayoral Report Card on Education (1)

Every candidate talks about great schools – that’s not hyperbole, education is the #1 issue among likely voters in Philadelphia. That’s great. What’s not-so-great is politicians who love talking about great schools but loathe talking about what makes them great. These men and women are trying to get elected, so the goal is to present their ideas as broadly as possible.

For those of us in the actual schools, that doesn’t work. Does a great school support their teachers’ rights to organize? Do they suspend children who opt-out of high stakes testing? This matters a lot, but is rarely discussed.

As a sequel to our 2014 Governor’s Report Card, here’s our assessment of the current Democratic Mayoral Field, based on their responses to our survey. You can read the survey, the responses, and our reasoning.

If you want to share it, please use our PDF or JPEG.  If you want to be part of what we do, just ask.

-The Candidate Report Card Inquiry to Action Group

Developing Cultural Competency Among School Staff

The members of the Inquiry to Action Group Social Justice Educators on a Path of Cultural Relevancy would like to share their collaboratively created module, “Developing Cultural Competency Among School Staff.”

This module is meant to empower school personnel to lead a professional development series that centers on confronting issues of language, culture, and race in educational contexts. There are six sessions designed to be flexible enough for facilitators to adapt the module to suit participant needs and school schedule. The session topics correspond to the partner text: ​Rethinking Multicultural Education: Teaching for Racial and Cultural Justice.

It has been shared in part at multiple workshops, and implemented in its entirety at Stetson, where the candid, meaningful discussions about language, culture and race continue as participants strive to provide a more relevant and socially equitable learning environment.

Please share widely!

Developing Cultural Competency Among School Staff

Announcing the 2015 Education for Liberation Conference!

6th Annual Education for Liberation Conference:

#BlackLivesMatter: 

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!