From United Opt Out:

United Opt Out Conference

January 16-18, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center

Palms Room A, 2nd Floor

1950 Eisenhower Blvd.

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

We, at UOO, have been saying for over a year now that the 2014-2015 school year is the tipping point. With PARCC, SBAC and other common core tests rearing their ugly heads this year we know that the time is prime for corp. ed. reformers to push the business model of public education, as they state once again, that our students, teachers, and public schools are failing. We can anticipate a 70% failure rate on these common core tests – one simply need look only to New York’s scores for the last two years.

The UOO conference is truly a working session for local and national activists who hope to take new learning and plans of action back home to their communities. Yes, we have speakers, and yes we have Q/A panels. But we also provide the time and opportunity for locals to gather and formulate a campaign to reclaim their public schools while also determining what they want for all children once we tear down the corporate reformers’ agenda. All of the speakers STAY for the full event, and they are available to sit in on working sessions and provide insight into campaign planning.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15th is a day when children around the country recall that Dr. King had a dream for a fair and just society. But we must also remember that realizing a dream for the future of public education and our children will not arrive with mere wishing. We must take action.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and advocates for justice, democracy and public education, both past and present, United Opt Out is hosting an event that brings advocates for public education together to form plans of action.

The Program:

January 16th, Friday

1:30 p.m. Meeting with workshop leaders

4:00-7:00 p.m. Welcome Reception with Keynote Stephen Krashen

January 17th, Saturday

10:00 a.m. Keynote: Ricardo Rosa/Antonia Darder

10:30 – 12:00 p.m. Working Groups

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Panel#1: Growing the Movement

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Lunch

2:15 – 3:30 p.m. Working Groups

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Panel #2: Organizing

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Keynote: Ira Shor

(The “How to Refuse the Tests” working group for parents will be held Saturday only. Special one day registration for this is $20.00)

January 18th, Sunday

10:00 a.m. Keynote: Barbara Madeloni

10:30 – 12:30 p.m. Working Groups

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Panel #3: Human Rights

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Keynote: Sam Anderson

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Working Groups present next steps

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Panel #4: Pushing Back on Corporate Reform

Panel Description/Panelists

#1 Growing the Movement (social media) Anthony Cody, Bob Schaeffer, Sandy Stenoff, Cindy Hamilton, Kathleen Jasper

#2 Organizing (unions/groups): Michelle Gunderson, Marla Kilfoyle, Michael Pena, Bess Altwerger, Barbara Madeloni, Gus Morales

#3 Human Rights: Rick Meyer, Rosemarie Jensen, Ceresta Smith, Ruth Rodriguez, Denisha Jones, Sam Anderson

#4 How to Push Back Corporate Reform: Ira Shor, Ricardo Rosa, Stephen Krashen, Francesca Blueher and additional panelists TBD

Working Groups/Facilitators:

Civil Disobedience: BAMN

Media: Bob Schaeffer, Anthony Cody, Stephen Krashen, Cynthia Liu

Strategy/Organizing: Becky Smith, Sandy Stenoff

Unions: Michelle Gunderson, Barbara Madeloni, BTU and UTD members

Human Rights: Sam Anderson, Lourdes Perez, and local community activist groups TBD

Student Group: Led by Youth Dreamers

How to Refuse the Tests Parent Workshop (Saturday only): Karen Jasper and Cindy Hamilton