Where Do We Go From Here?

Progressive individuals, organizations, foundations and media all have important roles to play in confronting the conservative, corporate and military influences in our educational system. Below are lists of ideas for action and groups that offer useful resources and background information.

IDEAS FOR ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS:

1. Everyone can raise awareness and stimulate constructive dialogue by circulating this call as widely as possible.  Circulate the National Call document, publish it, or use one of your social network accounts to "share" it now:
 
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Go to Event Page on Facebook and Invite and Share
2. Consider holding a community or chapter meeting to discuss how your neighbors would like to move forward

3. Organizations can devote resources to youth outreach and education. For example:

  • Create a youth/student led leadership component of your organization.

  • Develop a speakers pool for youth groups, classrooms and workshops at youth conferences.
        (See   http://www.teachingforchange.org/)

  • Sponsor essay/video/spoken word contests with themes that will educate and engage young people.  (See http://peacefulvocations.org/ re. annual poetry slam).

  • Send your regular news releases or specially written ones to editors of high school student newspaper; place ads in student papers and offer them op-ed pieces for publication.

  • Provide literature and other resources to enable students to do peer education. There are many models that can be adapted for this work.
        (See the various groups listed below)

  • Organize teams to distribute youth-friendly leaflets at school entrances. (See http://comdsd.org/youth.htm)

  • Contact schools about participating in career/college fairs with a display highlighting career and volunteer opportunities for social change activism. (See http://www.projectyano.org and http://www.forusa.org/iwillnotkill

4. Become involved in shaping education policy:

  • Monitor activities of businesses, the military and conservative organizations in local schools; protest when such groups violate policies and laws on access to campuses and student education records; propose new policies, if needed, to restrict their activities. (E.g., see http://www.projectyano.org/educationnotarms/, . . . other references?)

  • Monitor and oppose efforts to replace public education with for-profit, corporate-run charter schools. (See National Education Policy Center, Rethinking Schools, Classroom Struggle re. reports and studies )

  • Investigate whether students are being involuntarily placed into military indoctrination programs like JROTC or are being tracked into the military by denying them access to college prep classes and other alternatives to the military. (See Education Not Arms Coalition)

  • Form alliances with parents, students and community groups working on education-related issues.

  • Become involved in the selection of school district governing boards:
    • Do surveys of candidates for elected board seats and circulating their answers to questions on key issues.
    • Run candidates in board elections.

IDEAS FOR FOUNDATIONS:

  1. Give a high priority to supporting efforts to resist the militarization and commercialization of schools.

  2. Support outreach and educational initiatives to teach progressive values to young people.

  3. Support both youth-led organizations AND community groups that educate or support youth activism.

IDEAS FOR MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS, JOURNALISTS AND BLOGGERS:

  1. Present stories and analysis that will raise awareness about the problem of allowing conservative groups, the military and commercial interests to influence the educational system.

  2. Make a deliberate effort to cover organizing that focuses on youth activism and movements to resist  the militarization and commercialization of schools.

CONTACT THESE ORGANIZATIONS FOR VALUABLE ORGANIZING TOOLS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

  • GENERAL EDUCATION POLICY AND ALTERNATIVE CURRICULUM:

Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University

National Education Policy Center

Zinn Education Project

Rethinking Schools

Justice Matters

New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE)

Teachers for Social Justice

Education for Liberation Network



  • COMMERCIALISM AND CORPORATE INVOLVEMENT IN SCHOOLS:

Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert/Education

Teaching for Change


  • MILITARISM IN SCHOOLS:

The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Schools (NNOMY)

The Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO)

The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy (campaign against military testing in high schools):

The Military Recruitment Project of the New York Civil Liberties Union

The War Resisters League

Veterans for Peace

Demilitarizing Youth Facebook page (NNOMY)


  • YOUTH ACTIVISM AND EXPRESSION:

Youth 4 Change Alliance

What Kids Can Do

Youth Activists/Youth Allies Network

Committee Opposed to Militarism  & the Draft (students’ rights)

Queers for Economic Justice

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Creating a Culture of Peace

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ)