East Side democratic Club Minutes March 1, 2016

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Prior to the meeting the nominating committee nominated this slate of candidates:

President: David Delk
Vice president: Herschel Soles
Secretary: Joe Meyer
Membership Coordinator: Steve Elder
Treasurer: Celeste Soles
Agenda committee: Pam Allee, Maxine Wilkins

And we all won 21 – 0 !

There were two cameras at the meeting and Tom wanted to know what people thought about that.
David asked if there were any objections to the filming.
There was some discussion and we voted to vote on allowing filming and then voted to allow filming with both passing everyone to 0.

There were a few announcements including a recommendation of Micheal Moore’s new movie and of Beyond Measure, another education film, playing at Revolution Hall, and the you can get into Michel Moore’s film for $8.50 with some kind of ID.

Then we watched a forty minute documentary called “Building the Machine” describing the corporate takeover of our public schools

Then we took a 10 minute break and ate pizza and chatted.

When we reconvened, David announced that he will invite city hall candidates to next month’s meeting and then he passed the basket.

This was followed by a panel of three discussing their perspectives: Dana Brenner-Kelly, Mother; Michael Sonnleitner, Portland Community College Board Member, and Hyung Nam, high school teacher.

Each panel member was given a 5 minute introduction.

HN asked us to consider the larger context of economics, politics and corporate power. He argued that corporate power sees education as a threat and quoted a Powell memo citing unrest on campuses.

DBK told of how much things have changed in the time her oldest of 3 and youngest started grade school. She argued that the Common Core standards push a lot of responsibilities down to the very early grades; that behavioral data collection starts at this early age; and that this leads to a very early forking into the K-prison pipeline.

MS told us that he was like a toad in a pot of water on the stove. He first started to feel warm when corporate had him set seemingly harmless goals for himself and to simply check little boxed when he achieved his target performance. Three years ago, his pot grew too hot when corporate announced a new mandate to streamline the process and not to dumb it down. And students are complaining that essay questions are too hard, can’t you offer multiple choice and not dumb it down? And can’t you pass a higher percentage of students and not dumb it down?

Each panel member went well over the allotted 5 minutes and audience whistling was only heard once.

The first audience question was about how the new educators are trained. The panel responded that they are taught a narrow focus and prescriptive teaching. That they are union busing and setting us up for failure. BDK spoke of canned curricula and gave the example of teachers learning lessons by rote.

The second audience question was decrying for profit colleges and we ran out of time.

In closing Pat asked everyone to keep an eye on HB 2713 and someone said she is running for house district 44, Tina Kotek incumbent.

Then we adjourned.