Saturday, May 2, 2015

A BATTY Twitter Reflection about NPE Chicago 

The Network for Public Education held their annual conference in Chicago, the holy land of activism.  Thank you to NPE and all the people who planned this amazing event.  NPE Chicago was all about organizing, networking, inspiring, and learning.  The company was great and the panels full of information.

#NPEchicago trended the entire weekend that the event was held.  This is certainly truth to power that our voices were heard and our experiences were shared. 

BATs flocked to NPE from all over the country.  BAT Leadership Team Member, Aixa Rodriguez tweeted, just a few shy of 55,000.  

BATs have, and always will be, inspired by the work of Brotha Jitu.  We look forward to continue  supporting anything he needs  and will fight with him to save all our schools!

We laughed at the humor of Yong Zhao when he told the audience that “kindergarten was NOT a job.”

We admired, and celebrated, the courage of Jia Lee and Susan DuFresne.  Jia and Susan are two Teachers of Conscience that told their amazing story of courage and will. 

BATs embraced, and were inspired, by the words of Jesse Hagopian and Rita Green.  The idea they brought forth about the power of merging the Black Lives Matter movement and the Opt Out movement was incredible.


The most celebrated panelists were the students. The students of Newark Student Union and Melissa Katz were the real stars of the conference.  We should all aspire to be half of what they have shown to be in the activism world. 

The room exploded when Diane Ravitch asked AFT President Randi Weingarten and NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia if they would take any money from the Walton, Gates, or Broad Foundations – both said NO!

 BATs were proud to have 3 panels accepted to present.  Our amazing social justice panel made up of Dr. Denisha Jones, Aixa Rodriguez, and Kristin Vogel stayed 20 minutes AFTER the presentation to address audience questions about issues of race, equity, and equality!

The BAT Special Education Panel, led by Lorri Gumanow, Terry Kalb, and Marla Kilfoyle addressed the dismantling of special education.  They hit home that corporate education reformers are attempting to profit off our most vulnerable children.

Tennessee BATs gave an amazing and informative presentation on how to fight off charters.  Memphis and Nashville BATs have been waging a strong battle to stop district takeovers by charters and to keep their community schools. 

Quotes by Diane Ravitch are too many to put here but they continue to inspire our work.  Here are a few that received loud applause! 


To get the full video of Diane Ravitch and Karen Lewis in conversation go here – it is simply amazing.  Karen inspires us all, gives us hope and courage, and continues to be a strong voice in the  movement.

BATs proudly represented at NPE Chicago.  We were inspired, humbled, and honored to present.  We hope that everyone will consider joining us on July 25th in D.C. for the BATs Teacher Congress – go here for more information

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