Featured presentation: Striking Back: Lessons from Chicago

Oct 03, 2012 - 03:25 PM by CES

Fall Forum 2012 Featured Presentation / Sat Nov 10 / 10:00 am

Striking Back: Lessons from Chicago

Deborah Meier, Mike Klonsky, Xian Barrett

When conversation isn't enough and draconian measures are forced upon our students, schools, and communities,  organized action becomes our last option.  What lessons can we learn from those who have pushed back against the system? Join, Deborah Meier, Mike Klonsky, Xian Barrett as they reflect upon their experiences during the Chicago teachers strike and share the lessons learned by their efforts. During Block 2, from 11:30- 12:15 (following this session), the group will move into a small group planning session, “Striking Back Pt. 2:  Planning for Action” around the specific needs and issues in our home schools.

Deborah Meier has spent nearly four decades working in public education as a teacher, principal, writer and public advocate. The elementary and secondary schools she helped create in New York City and Boston serve predominantly low income African-American and Latino students; these schools are considered exemplars of performance-based homegrown standards.  She is the author of popular books such as In Schools We Trust and Many Children Left Behind (co-edited with George Wood). She serves as principal emeritus of Mission Hill School in Boston, co-chair of the Coalition of Essential Schools, and is currently a senior scholar at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education. In 1987 Deborah Meier was awarded a McArthur Foundation "Genius" Award, the first educator to be so honored.  Other publications by Deborah Meier include Playing for Keeps and The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem.

Michael Klonsky, Ph.D. teaches in the College of Education at DePaul University in Chicago. He’s the national director of the Small Schools Workshop and a former member of the National Steering Committee of Save Our Schools (SOS).  Dr. Klonsky is a teacher educator who has spoken and written extensively on school reform issues with a focus on urban school restructuring. His book (with Susan Klonsky), Small Schools: Public School Reform Meets the Ownership Society (Routledge), is a critique of top-down school reform and the push towards privatization of public schools. He is also the author Small Schools: The Numbers Tell a Story (University of Illinois Small Schools Workshop) and co-editor of A Simple Justice: The Challenge for Teachers in Small Schools (Teachers College Press).  He has served as a member of the National Advisory Council on Youth Violence and is past president of the board of Catalyst, Chicago’s school-reform journal. Dr. Klonsky is also the father of three daughters who all attended Chicago Public Schools (two of whom teach in the system) and the grandfather of a CPS 7th grader. His work is profiled at http://klonsky.blogspot.com/  and his SmallTalk blog can be found at http://michaelklonsky.blogspot.com/

Xian Barrett is an 11th and 12th grade Law and Chicago History instructor at Gage Park High
School. He began teaching English and Human Rights Education in Namino, Japan in 2000 through the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme. He was a founding member of Chicago Youth Initiating Change, a citywide student social justice organization and of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators. He was the CPS 2008 Service Learning Teacher of the Year, 2008 CPS DRIVE award
winner and 2009-2010 U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellow. In 2010-2011, he was the Political Director and Policy Director for the Chicago Teachers Union. His writing has been featured in Education Week and on CNN and MSNBC.

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