Friday, September 30, 2016

Houston Education and Civil Rights Summit - United Opt Out National

United Opt Out National - Events:

Join Us at the Houston Education and Civil Rights Summit
October 14-15, 2016


Houston Education and Civil Rights Summit

The continued challenges of public education and the teaching profession have only been exacerbated by past and current policies and practices. Moreover, the gulf between civil rights organizations and education activists has not helped to provide workable solutions.UOO and HFT will bring together various civil rights organizations and activists groups to discuss the shifting landscape of public education and its impact on civil and human rights and civil society.

​The focus will be on creating alliances, building solidarity, and promoting a unified stance around the following issues: standardized testing, digital instruction, student and parental rights, allocation of funding, teacher quality, and the corporatization of public education.  Ultimately, the goal is to see our consensus realized on the local, state and federal levels in terms of policies and practices.

PictureSamuel Abrams is the Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education(NCSPE) and an instructor in Columbia Teachers College Department of Education Policy and Social AnalysisThe former high school teacher of economics and history, is the author ofEducation and the Commercial Mindset published by Harvard Press In it he addresses the conflict between the prevailing managerial approach to schooling in the United States and a well-rounded education. According to Abrams, the growing focus on test results hinders development of the whole child, and the United States should follow Finland’s lead in emphasizing arts, crafts, and play; in confining standardized testing to small samples of students rather than testing all students; in paying teachers better salaries in order to attract and retain quality educators, and in granting teachers significant autonomy to devise curricula and assess their students. In a July 2016 interview with Washington Post blogger Valerie Strauss he stated, “Privatization accordingly amounts to a flawed response to state failure, not a solution. The solution calls for investing the resources necessary to make all neighborhood schools solid in the way all neighborhood schools are solid in middle- and upper-class suburbs, with well-paid teachers, good working conditions and smaller classes.”

PictureFaya Ora Rose Touré is a Harvard-educated Civil Rights activist and litigation attorney who has worked on some of the highest-profile civil rights cases to come before the courts. Touré—who spent most of her career as Rose Sanders until she decided to step away from her "slave name" in 2003—was the first African-American female judge in Alabama and was part of the winning legal team in Pigford vs. Veneman, the largest civil rights case in history. This case led to the payment of a billion dollars in damages to black farmers by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, Touré is founder of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, Alabama, and a founding partner in the law firm of Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell, LLC. Intensely passionate about her activism and legal work and the needs of the black community, Touré has founded learning and cultural centers, political and legal organizations, and community initiatives that have benefited Alabamians for three decades. he founded the National Voting Rights Museum in 1993 to tell the story of the Voting Rights Movement and founded the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in 1965 to commemorate the Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. She co-founded the Coalition of Alabamians Reforming Education (C.A.R.E.) in 1993

PictureJulian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State Sacramento.  In addition to educational accomplishments, Julian Vasquez Heilig has held a variety of research and practitioner positions in organizations from Boston to Beijing. These experiences have provided formative professional perspectives to bridge research, theory, and practice.  His current research includes quantitatively and qualitatively examining how high-stakes testing and accountability-based reforms and market reforms impact urban minority students. His work has been cited by the New York Times,Washington Post, Associated Press, USAToday, Education Week, Huffington Post and other print and electronic media outlets. He has also appeared on local and national radio and TV including PBS, NBC, NBCLatino, NPR, Univision, and MSNBC.   The state Education Chair for the California NAACP, he blogs at Cloaking Inequity, consistently rated one of the top 50 education websites in the world by Teach100

Panelists and Working Group Leaders

  • Audrey Amerin-Breadsley,  professor and author of the blog Vamboolzed and the book Rethinking Value Added Models
  • Sam Anderson, author and retired mathematics and Black History professor
  • Zeph Capo,  president Houston Federation of Teachers
  • Sam Gorman, high school student activist and founder of Youngchange-Bestchange 
  • Alexis Lopez, high school student activist, Houston Independent School District
  • Ricardo Rosa, professor UMass Dartmouth
  • Patricia Silva-Flores, educator


Friday, October 14, 2016 at 4:00 PM - Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 8:00 PM (CDT)


Houston Hilton Post Oak - 2001 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056



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