Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ed Equality Day

The next event that got me fired up was the Klein/Sharpton Ed Equality day I mentioned in my last two emails.  There was a who's who of education reformers there for three panels during the day, plus Vice President Biden spoke (in addition, Sec. Duncan spoke brilliantly on Thursday I heard).  Unfortunately I was only able to make the lunch panel, but I heard DFER ED Joe Willams was great on the morning panel, pushing back on the issue of mayoral control against Robert Jackson, who chairs the Education Committee of the NY City Council .
At the beginning of the lunch panel, I listened to another NY City Council member, Charles Barron, go off again with an incoherent rant against mayoral control, loudly applauded by two tables filled with what appeared to be AFT stooges -- Barron didn't appear to have any other support in the room, however, and Ben Chavis (more on him below) went up to him afterword and RIPPED him in words that I can't repeat here for being a "pimp" for selling out inner-city kids.
The other members of the lunch panel who spoke with Klein and Sharpton, mayors Fenty and Kevin Johnson (of Sacramento, the former NBA star who founded a charter school and who DFER supported), former Sec. Margaret Spellings, Michael Lomax, head of the United Negro College Fund (the first time I'd heard him speak -- he ROCKED!; see
I also had the pleasure of sitting at the table with most of the people who were on the afternoon panel : Ryan Hill (founder of KIPP in Newark), David Whitman (author of a great book, Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism; and Ben Chavis (who runs five American Indian Public Charter Schools in Oakland).  Also on the panel were Kevin Chavous, Chairman of DFER and Chris Cerf, Deputy Chancellor of NYC schools.

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