Momentum building for July 30 SOS march on Washington

From Chicago and elsewhere, it's becoming clear that thousands of teachers, students and parents will be taking part in the SOS March on Washington, D.C. on July 30. With the endorsement of the Chicago Teachers Union and others from Chicago, the organizing coalition has broadened its support considerably. Substance has learned that the CTU will begin doing its legendary phone tree to build the movement for the event following the successful completion of the organizing for the "Peoples City Council Meeting" in a week.

The following is a press release that was received by Substance on June 29, 2011:

Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action

6470 Freetown Road, Suite 200, Box 72

Columbia, Maryland 21044

For immediate release, June 29, 2011

Contact: Sabrina Stevens Shupe, (732) 841-4967 or Nancy Flanagan, (231) 228-6731



A rapidly growing list of organizations and prominent individuals has signed on to support the Saturday, July 30 “Save Our Schools” (SOS) march and rally in Washington, DC. Thousands of public education advocates will gather on the Ellipse at noon and then march around the White House to demonstrate dissatisfaction with “top-down reforms,” which they say ignore local communities, reject proven research, and undermine both school quality and equity.

In addition to many education groups, SOS endorsers include Parents Across America, the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministry, and the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation. Columbia Sociology Professor Pedro Noguera, author Jonathan Kozol and former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch are among the scheduled speakers. Leaders of the film community, such as actors Matt Damon and Richard Dreyfuss, as well as Vicki Abeles, director of Race to Nowhere, also support the event.

Natalie Schwartz, a parent advocate and small business owner who serves on the SOS Executive Committee, explained, "The diversity of organizations and leaders endorsing the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action reflects widespread frustration with failed education policies at both the federal and state levels. A decade of escalating focus on high-stakes tests and sanctions has narrowed curriculum and undermined academic quality for the very children 'No Child Left Behind' was meant to serve. Lawmakers need to start listening to the communities they were elected to serve. We must put an end to top-down policies that clearly do not work. It's time to reverse course."

The Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action is organized around four basic principles:

- Equitable Funding for All Public School Populations

- Ending High-Stakes Testing for Student, Teacher and School Evaluation

- Curriculum Developed For and By Local School Communities

- Public Education Policies Formed by Teachers, Families and Local Leadership

A full list of endorsers is online at:


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