Monday, April 25, 2016

Saving the Soul of Education

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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On April 30th, there will be a meeting of the minds in Red Hook. Parents, teachers, school leaders, and community members from public, private, and home schools are invited to spend the day exploring both the problems and counter efforts in 21st century education. Discussing topics such as Common Core standards, testing, parental rights, student data mining, digital education, and government and corporate interests, speakers will take an inspiring tone that centers around counter proposals for appropriate measures to education.

Hosted by the Avalon Initiative, an educational think-tank co-sponsored by the Hawthorne Valley Center for Social Research and the Research Institute for Waldorf Education, this is the fourth gathering (the second day-long conference) in a year that seeks to connect people interested in the well-being of students. “The direction of education should be self-determined by educators, just like businesses are run by businesspeople,” says Gary Lamb, Avalon Projects Coordinator. Lamb, and many others, feel the soul of education is under attack from government engagement with corporate interests, and that creating space for teachers to converse about that in a deeply politicized and socially engaged atmosphere will thwart it. “Education should not be run by CEOs and corporations, but by the knowledgeable and experienced people engaged in education.”

“I will speak about government overreach and the corporate dismantling of education,” says Katie Zahedi, Principal at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook and an Adjunct Professor at SUNY New Paltz. “We should protect the schools as nurturing places where we cooperate rather than increase competition.” Highlighting the immeasurable aspects of education, the conference will inspire those involved with education towards local reforms.

Enough Already! Saving the Soul of Education at the Taconic Retreat and Conference Center, 64 White Drive in Red Hook: Saturday, April 30th, 8:45a-5p, tickets are $45/$25 for college students and teacher trainees. Register online until 8 pm, April 28 at Eventbrite. After April 28th, contact glamb@thecenterforsocialresearch.org or 518-697-9167 for space availability. Learn more at their website.
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