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Video: Bootleg From DFER Town Hall


Agree or disagree with them, DFER's Town Hall is something you probably want to know about.  Bootleg copy of DFER's new video is above, courtesy Whitney ("MegaUpload") Tilson, and pics here. Coverage via EdWeek's Sean Cavanaugh here (lots of war stories, apparently).  Lots more below, via Tilson.  

A quick update (with 11 pictures and a video) from the Democratic convention. (By the way, wasn’t Michelle Obama GREAT?! I can’t wait to see Clinton tonight. Nate Silver now has Obama 76.3% likely to win: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com – I like 3-to-1 odds!)  

The DFER Town Hall went great! After Joe’s welcoming remarks, DFER showed an AMAZING 10-minute video, which I’ve posted at: http://youtu.be/f9CsvnyJgd4 (DFER will post the official version plus videos of the rest of the Town Hall next week – I’ll send the links when they’re posted.)  

Then there were two excellent panels, most remarkably one with the heads of both major teachers unions, Randi Weingarten and Dennis Van Roekel (DFER sure has come a long way…). Ya know, the way they were talking, you might actually think they were reformers… ;-) But it’s a credit to them that they showed up and participated, so I’m not going to be snarky…today anyway…  

There’s more commentary below each picture (the pics and commentary are also posted at: https://picasaweb.google.com/WTilson/DFERTownHall) and at the end of this email is an EdWeek article about the event, which captures my favorite lines from the afternoon, by Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who ROCKED the house!  

Turner described the fight over the plan for the Cleveland schools as the "rumble in the jungle"—a reference boxing fans will appreciate. "The journey was tumultuous," said Turner, who described the urgency of improving the city schools in stark terms.  

"If you hair is on fire, you should act like your hair is on fire," Turner said. The question for the Cleveland, she said, was "did we want to be a city, or a cemetery?"  


In the lobby there were posters of various courageous Democratic politicians who’ve bucked the unions, under the theme of the day, I’M A DFER. 



Joe Williams, DFER’s Executive Director, welcomed everyone and gave opening remarks.



The first panel was Change We Can Believe In: Education Leadership at the Top and in the States. The panelists were (from left to right): Michael Johnston, Colorado State Senate; Nina Turner, Ohio State Senate; Teresa Ruiz, NJ State Senate; Marcus Brandon, NC State House; Mary Ann Sullivan, Indiana State House; and the moderator, Jonathan Alter of Bloomberg View.



Charlotte Mayor (and rising political star) Anthony Foxx spoke between the panels. There’s a ton of reform happening in Charlotte – in fact, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district won the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education a year ago (www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/20/charlotte-mecklenburg-nor_n_972034.html).



The second panel was Looking Downfield: How Technology and Innovation Will Impact Teaching, Learning, and Education Politics. The panelists were (from left to right): Randi Weingarten, AFT; John Katzman, 2tor, Noodle.org; Dennis Van Roekel, NEA; moderator Jonathan Schorr, NewSchools Venture Fund; Joel Rose, New Classrooms Innovation Partners (formerly known as School of One); and Joe Reardon, Mayor of Kansas City, Kansas.



The closing speaker was U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who founded a charter school early in his career and who’s been an incredible ed reform warrior in Congress.



It was pouring rain as we showed up at the arena. As you can see from the video screen, we just missed seeing Cory Booker – rats!



We walked past Jason Jones of The Daily Show doing a funny interview.



It was pretty cool being on the floor of the convention hall. Here’s the panorama view (a cool feature of my new camera, the Sony RX-100).



A normal picture from the floor.



All sort of media muckity-mucks were there – here’s Dan Rather.




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I’m not seeing the pictures load at all, might be my virus software, but I'm not sure? Nevertheless, it’s a great video in terms of making the new DFER policies look good. And at least they’re reaching out to the public. Clinton's speech was awesome!

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