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Some Details on the First NPE Conference

March 3, 2014

The first annual Network for Public Education (NPE) Conference was this past weekend, on Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2, 2014.

Below is a news brief on the conference:

I participated in the NPE conference as a member of three panel discussions, the topics being investigative journalism, philanthropy (as such is undermining the democratic process) and the Common Core (CCSS).

Click here for the published conference agenda.

Approximately 400 people attended, including but not limited to classroom teachers, university professors, parents, grandparents, retirees, journalists, bloggers, researchers, elected officials, students, administrators, and other advocates for the cause of public education.

I met scores of people. However, outside of my formal conference involvements, I spent most of my time enjoying the company of Jennifer Berkshire (Edushyster) and Gretchen Conley (her Edusister); Darcie Cimarusti (Mother Crusader); DC cheating whistleblower principal Adell Cothorne; Lee Barrios (Geaux Teacher), and, for her limited engagement (Saturday only, over my first dining experience with Ethiopian cuisine), Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis.

One of my favorite low-key moments was Sunday afternoon when several of us were hanging out in my room, chatting about the conference and laughing about life in the hour or so before dinner. In that rare and beautiful experience, I glimpsed the pleasant shadow of my college past, now almost thirty years ago.

I had a marvelous time.

I was hoping to publish a number of video clips from the conference. We had planned to live stream numerous sessions; however, NPE experienced technical difficulty. I believe that some sessions were filmed. And certainly, the abundance of iPhones in the audience will yield video footage of a number of sessions.

As such is made available to me, I will post it. (Anyone having such video documentation, please provide links in the comments section of this post.)

One view currently available is Texas Superintendent John Kuhn’s and CTU President Karen Lewis’ impassioned defense of public education. 

They reminded me that being a traditional public school teacher is noble and good.

Also available is this 5-minute clip of my opener during the CCSS panel:

My thanks to fellow blogger Peter Greene (curmudgucation) for bringing the above clip to my attention.

I plan to write a more detailed commentary on components of the CCSS panel discussion once a complete video is available. Stay tuned.

  1. Thanks for this Mercedes! I really enjoyed meeting you and hearing you speak. Let me know if you ever plan to make it over to Japan.

  2. Concerned Citizen permalink

    I couldn’t afford to attend the conference so I set aside time to watch the livestream. It was a big disappointment that most of the livestream videos didn’t happen as advertised. It was especially frustrating that there was no notice or explanation, the broadcast window just said “off air” during the sessions.

    There were usually at least 60 people logged in waiting to watch the non-broadcasts, and more would have joined via twitter etc. if the broadcasts had worked, so this was a missed opportunity that wasted time for a lot of people. Sorry to complain, but this blog post and others make it sound like an excellent conference, it was frustrating to miss out.

    • I was also disappointed that the livestream was not working. I did not learn as much until I showed up for a session.

      I plan to post sessions as videos become available.

  3. patriciahale permalink

    Who ever thought that a conference to support public education would be necessary? I was disappointed about the lack of live streaming too, but I’m just damn glad that FINALLY activists are getting together and fighting back against the corporate coup of public education. Thanks. I look forward to hearing more about the conference.

  4. Reblogged this on Crazy Normal – the Classroom Exposé and commented:
    Witness the movement against the robber barons and wolves of Sesame Street, who want to profit off the destruction and end of public education.

  5. Thanks for this information. Sad the lifestream didn’t work. Hope to attend next year.

  6. It was nice to see and meet so many who are active in combating the privatization of the public education realm and those with whom I have exchanged internet comments with, like you Mercedes. It seems to me that one thing we need to do, as the panel on social media suggested/encouraged/ is to increase our social media awareness and presence. I have always talked to folks about the privatization (and that, to me is what we should call this and not “corporate” takeover, more on that will come out from me later) of public education. We have to use all opportunities to “broad cast” our message.

    The fight can and will be won (as suggested by Diane and others) through an increased effort at educating those who don’t know about this attempted takeover, (and many don’t), recruiting folks to do that educating, and encouraging all to do those small things that add up to be a big deal (if you’ve ever been swarmed by no seeums, mosquitoes, etc. . . you know what I mean).

  7. 2old2tch permalink

    Thank you, Mercedes, for the links you provided. Not only did I get a slice of you as well as John Kuhn and Karen Lewis, but a link to Diane Ravitch came up as well. I wish I could have been there for the workshops where, I suspect, more of the nitty gritty work was done.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: First Thoughts on NPE Conference | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. “Common Core Needs to be Crucified”. Not Laid Aside, Not Renamed | Missouri Education Watchdog
  3. FL Common Core: A Schneider Debriefing on Weingarten | Dr. Rich Swier

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