Sunday, December 30, 2012

Education Reform (Real VS. Phony) and How Upcoming Events Will Help You Distinguish the Difference

Education Reform (Real VS. Phony) and How Upcoming Events Will Help You Distinguish the Difference

Many of us involved in Oregon SOS are thrilled about a number of experiences this January that will help to create what we hope is a larger dialogue on the subject of public education reform. (With our personal interest being that this moves more people to press for and create reforms that are GOOD for students and learning.) Please mark the dates/times below and make sure to attend!

Oregonian Susan Mach, a teacher at Clackamas Community College, a parent of a Portland Public School student and now an award-winning playwright, has two plays opening at the same time in January, both professionally produced by theater companies in Portland. The original Oregon SOS folks met Sue at our first organizing meeting at the end of August 2011 and she mentioned something about writing a play on education reform, so it has been great to see how this has developed into the play that many are now talking about produced by Third Rail Repertory Theatre: A Noble Failure. (If you want to catch her other play, which also sounds fantastic (not about education reform) you can read about it here.) Many of us saw A Noble Failure when it was in its reading stage, and we were struck with how this artistic format brought a complex subject to life and opened the floor to greater dialogue. We cannot wait for opening day, January 11th!

In conjunction with the opening of the play, Brian Jones has been brought out courtesy of Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, and Clackamas Community College. Brian is a teacher, actor,  activist, who is also pursuing a PhD in urban education and was featured in the documentary The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman.  Brian lives and works in New York City, and while Oregon, or even Portland, is not quite like NYC in many regards, there are still striking similarities to what is happening in NYC to what is happening in Oregon and elsewhere around the country in regards to education reform. We need to learn from these experiences and create “real reforms” that create quality, public education for all students. Come hear from Brian how he and other activists are pushing for real reform in NYC and let's start working towards building a stronger, united effort for positive reforms in Oregon. 

Here is a chronological list of events and related information:

Sunday, January 6th, 7-8:30PM:
Showing of the movie The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman
COST: FREE (please purchase a beverage and/or snack to support the venue)
LOCATION: Velo Cult, 1969 Northeast 42nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97213
Oregon SOS will show the film and follow with a discussion that connects the reforms and characters in the film with their Oregon counterparts. Don't miss this discussion and chance for Q&A with people who have been delving into the weeds on Oregon education reform! This film and discussion will also give you valuable information for the other events that follow.

Thursday, January 10th, 5:30-7PM (reception) and 7:30-9:30PM (play preview & “talk back”)
Special reception to meet Brian Jones (and possibly Susan Mach!)
LOCATION: Reception: First Unitarian Church, 1211 SW Main St., Portland, OR 97205
Play Preview: Winningstad Theatre, 1111SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
REGISTRATION: Register free here (It is one registration for this reception AND the play)

Friday, January 11th, 5-6:30PM
Public Forum with Brian Jones: Real VS. Phony Education Reform
COST: FREE (donations appreciated); if you need childcare, contact
LOCATION: Redeemer Lutheran, 5431 NE 20th, Portland, OR 97211
REGISTRATION: Register free here

Friday, January 11th, 7:30-9:30PM
Opening Night of A Noble Failure
COST: Tickets can be purchased here  For 30% off the single ticket price, call 503-235-1101 and use the education promo code: FIXING

Sunday, January 20th – a special panel discussion is in the works for this afternoon's performance of A Noble Failure. We will let you know as soon as we have more info.

The play runs from January 11-February 3. Don't forget to use the special promo code for discounted tickets, and if you work in education, you can attend the special preview night for free.

We hope you can attend one or more of these events and please spread the word so we may Educate, Agitate, and Organize in the best interest of students and our communities!