Forum for Education and Democracy Expands Education Advocacy to DCh
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Contact: Beth Glenn: 202-478-4572
Forum for Education and Democracy Expands Education Advocacy to DC
November 19, 2007 (Washington, DC) – This month, the Ohio-based Forum for Education and Democracy expanded its advocacy for students to the nation’s capitol. Founded by a group of well-known educators and academics, the Forum seeks to improve schools by interjecting practitioner perspectives and a strong commitment to public education for democracy into the discussion about school reform in Washington.
"The Forum's presence in DC puts us one step closer to our goal of great public schools for every child," said National Education Association President Reg Weaver. "We're pleased to have this eminent group of educators and thinkers raising their voices in the nation's capital for our students."
“We want to help America fulfill its commitment to equal educational opportunity for all its citizens,” said Executive Director George Wood, principal of the Federal Hocking middle and high schools in Stewart, Ohio. “Having a presence in DC allows us to connect with decision-makers, other advocates and the public to highlight the policy implications that flow from solid academic research, experience from the field and a fierce belief in educating all children for successful democratic participation.”
Three years ago, Wood and other educators - including Linda Darling-Hammond, Wendy Puriefoy and Deborah Meier – formed the Forum to support research, publications, and action projects which reestablish democratic principles as in education. The Forum has worked with school reformers, state leaders and members of Congress to promote a public education system with “high quality schools and teachers focused on educating for democracy, equitable and adequate school resources for all children and appropriate democratic control of public schools,” according to Meier, who has written extensively on the role of education in a democratic society.
“We believe in and work for schools that nurture in all children the habits of heart and mind that make democracy possible,” Meier added. “We work for education that is “vibrant, equitable, and consistent with our belief in a government of, for, and by the people.”
That vision has led the Forum to support innovations such as the use of measures beyond standardized testing for tracking student learning, the creation of a more comprehensive and nuanced way to gauge school progress and an overhaul of the way teachers are prepared and supported.
In 2004, the Forum published a book, Many Children Left Behind, which has since become one of the leading critiques of the federal education law. The Forum has also sponsored a series of public discussions around the nation, consulted with members of Congress and state leaders on legislation, collaborated with other groups to provide information on educational policy issues, and worked to build public support for educational renewal in the media.
“Going forward, our work will be guided by attention to issues of teaching and learning, access and equity and school governance and accountability,” Darling-Hammond noted. “Educating our students for vigorous democratic participation means having sound policies in each of these three key areas. We have to keep these issues at the top of the education agenda with the public and policymakers.”
The Forum’s conveners are: Deborah Meier, Ted Sizer, Linda Darling-Hammond, John Goodlad, Pedro Noguera, Angela Valenzuela, Carl Glickman, George Wood, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Judith Browne, Larry Myatt, Nancy Sizer, Wendy D. Puriefoy and Sharon Robinson.
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