5/19: Achievement Gap or Opportunity Gap? Fighting Racism in the Public Schools

Check out this great panel organized bySocial Equality Educators

Thursday, May, 19th, 2011—7:00 pm
Mt. Zion Baptist Church
1634 19th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122

James Bible, president of the King Co. NAACP*
Wayne Au, editor of Rethinking Schools
Olga Addae, President of the Seattle Education Association
Jesse Hagopian, teacher in SPS
Gabriella Gutierrez Y Muhs, SU Professor, Latin American & Women Studies
Rickie Malone, Former Principal, African American Academy and current teacher, SPS

Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently referred to the opening of the film Waiting for "Superman”-- which advocates charter schools and demonizes teachers’ unions--as a "Rosa Parks moment." And yet America’s oldest civil rights organization--including the NAACP, the National Urban League, and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition--have published a harsh critique of Duncan's "Race to the Top" Initiative, specifically, its emphasis on promoting charter schools. Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Walton family (of Wal-Mart infamy) suggest that more drill-and-kill standardized testing represents a civil-rights movement for education reform. What billionaire corporate education reformers don’t want to admit is that these tests narrow the curriculum--often to culturally biased norms--and that to truly improve education it will take fully funding the school system. In fact, without the proper resources, manageable class sizes, and anti-racist curriculum, what is commonly referred to as the “achievement gap” is better understood as the “opportunity gap.” With over $95 million in budget cuts looming for Washington State's public schools, it's time we build a real civil rights movement--led by parents, students and teachers--that can put education at the very front of our city's, state's, and nation's priorities.

This panel is guaranteed not to go beyond just talk about the problems in the public schools—instead providing concrete proposals for dismantling institutional racism in education that parents, students, teachers, and community members will soon begin acting on in the Seattle schools.

Please join us for this lively community forum featuring some of Seattle’s most important social justice education advocates! And bring your ideas for action!

Wayne Au
Professor of Education at the University of Washington, Bothell, editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, and author of Unequal by Design: The Standardization of Inequality and Rethinking Multicultural Education

James Bible
Civil rights attorney and the president of the King County chapter of the NAACP*

Jesse Hagopian
Teacher at Garfield High School, contributing author to the forthcoming Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation, and founding member of the Social Equality Educators (SEE), a rank-and-file committee of union teachers

Olga Addae
President of the Seattle Education Association

Gabriella Gutierrez Y Muhs
Seattle University Professor, Latin American & Women Studies

Rickie Malone
Former Principal, African American Academy and current teacher, Seattle Public Schools

*for identity purposes only.

Sponsored By: Social Equality Educators (SEE) and Parents Across America (Seattle Chapter)
Endorsed by: International Socialist Organization, Puget Sound Rethinking Schools
For more information: www.seattlesee.org, email: jessedhagopian@gmail.com, or call 206-962-1685