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“We March Today To Protect the Dignity of the Education Profession” Diane Ravitch at the Save Our Schools March

July 30, 2011

Today was the Save our Schools March and National Call to Action .   Lots of great speakers like Matt Damon, Taylor Mali and Diane Ravitch.  

The march was largely ignored by CSPAN and CNN, networks that didn’t seem to have an issue covering crazy Glen Beck’s rally.  What is unforgivable was UTLA not getting involved- not a great way for the new leadership to start out.  They should have sent a contingent and some financial support. But on the other hand, there was a purity of purpose about this day untouched by outside agendas.   I’ll probably have some video up when it come in- unfortunately, only audio was available but I will post some pics along with some of the memorable quotes of the day. Jon Stewart sent along a hilarious video and also talked about how hard his mother worked as a public school teacher.

“None of these qualities that make me who I am can be tested”Matt Damon, speaking about the high quality of his public school teachers and his education.

Matt Damon speaking to enthusiastic crowd at the SOS March

“Our problem is poverty, not our schools! ” 

“Education is a right, not a race!”

“Students need help, they need attention. They don’t need their schools closed!”

Diane Ravitch,  speaking before Matt Damon. 

This was probably the most polemic, radical speech I have seen out of her and completely decontextualized from the dominant policy narrative often running through her speeches.   I felt like I was listening to an anti-war speech from the 60’s. Great stuff.

Matt Damon, his mom and Diane Ravtich waiting to speak

  The day before the march, Arne Duncan was up to his old tricks, cleverly declaring that teachers should make between 60,000 to 150,000 dollars a year. Yeah, I’ve been hearing that for years.   Oh and he also threw in the same worn ideas about “merit” pay.  I guess he didn’t get the memo but New York City put a halt to it when they discoverd to no one’s surprise that test scores were no different between teachers offered merit pay and those who weren’t.

There  were some digs at Obama and lots of disappointment voiced. One of the best lines was when a speaker talked about how he wants  his kids to get the same education as at Sidwell Friends School.  You know, the private school that refuses to judge teachers by test scores where Obama sends his kids.

Teacher Sabrina who suffered from "reform" policies in Colorado with Dr. Noguera at the march

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Carole permalink
    July 30, 2011 5:18 pm

    HuffPo reported that there were about 4000 in attendance. Did any network cover it? I didn’t see one minute of coverage on any network. Unbelievable!! They cover crazy loons marching in front of the Orlando court house, but they don’t think 4000 people marching in DC is anything to talk about??? I can’t find any videos, so I do hope you can post some.

  2. fremontwatch permalink*
    July 30, 2011 6:19 pm

    No there was no coverage that I know of but unions should have stepped up to the plate to support this and they didn’t, That was very disappointing. I think teachers in union states need to start threatening to withhold union dues until our unions start supporting teachers and students. UTLA was MIA. Pretty disgusting

  3. Lori Jackson permalink
    August 1, 2011 10:11 am

    This march was endorsed publicly by both unions, along with NCTE.

  4. fremontwatch permalink*
    August 1, 2011 10:25 am

    Really, when? UTLA to my knowledge sent no one to this march to represent itself. And I saw no evidence on the home page of a UTLA endorsement. UTLA has failed every step of the way to support teachers, from the reconstitution of Fremont to HPHS and the failure to safeguard SRHS #2. They should have gone to court for us over that one. A public endorsement is not the same thing as real support. Obama is prime example of that concept. He didn’t have the guts to go to Wisconcin and stand with those workers,

  5. Carole permalink
    August 1, 2011 11:03 am

    Videos are available now on You Tube of speeches given by Diane Ravitch and Matt Damon. Ravitch’s speech is basically what she has already posted on her blog, but it was great to see her get all fired up!

    Valerie Strauss at WaPo wrote an op ed on Damon’s speech (and of the Rally). She said she was impressed!

  6. fremontwatch permalink*
    August 1, 2011 12:35 pm

    I posted Damon’s and Ravitch’s speech in the post above this one and I will get the op ed now. I think that’s the Answer Sheet. Thanks for the tip! Loved Damon’s speech

  7. Anonymous permalink
    September 1, 2011 3:13 am


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