Sí, Se Puede: JVH joins Ravitch’s New Network for Public Education

I have had the privilege to interact with Diane Ravitch quite regularly over the past year or so. Thus I was honored when she and Anthony Cody approached me about joining the new Network for Public Education. The mission of the organization:

The Network for Public Education is an advocacy group whose goal is to fight to protect, preserve and strengthen our public school system, an essential institution in a democratic society. Our mission is to protect, preserve, promote, and strengthen public schools and the education of current and future generations of students. We will accomplish this by networking groups and organizations focused on similar goals in states and districts throughout the nation, share information about what works and what doesn’t work in public education, and endorse and rate candidates for office based on our principles and goals. More specifically, we will support candidates who oppose high-stakes testing, mass school closures, the privatization of our public schools and the outsourcing of its core functions to for-profit corporations, and we will support candidates who work for evidence-based reforms that will improve our schools and the education of our nation’s children.

The Network is actively seeking allies. It is our hope “We are many. There is power in our numbers. Together, we will save our schools.” Sí, Se Puede. Here is a quick roundup of coverage on the new Network:

  1. The Network for Public Education will collaborate with other groups and organizations to strengthen our public schools in states and districts throughout …

    dianeravitch.net/2013/03/07/breaking-news-new-group-to… – Cached

  2. [Mar 8, 2013] Diane Ravitch’s New Group On Wednesday morning, a group of educationactivists across the country — including Leonie Haimson, Anthony Cody, and Diane Ravitch, the …
    www.huffingtonpost.com/joy-resmovits/diane-ravitch… – Cached

    More results from huffingtonpost.com »

  3. was announced today. If you care about saving public education from privatization, from the so-called “reformers” like Jeb Bush and Michelle Rhee, the …

    www.dailykos.com/…/-The-NetworkforPublicEducation – Cached

  4. This morning Diane Ravitch announced the launch of a new organization to connect supporters of public education across the country. This could not come at a better …

    blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/03/… – Cached

The Network’s officers: 



Diane Ravitch is a historian of education. She is Research Professor of Education at New York University. She has written ten books and edited another 14. She is a graduate of the Houston public schools, Wellesley College (BA), Columbia University (Ph.D. in history of American education), and holds nine honorary doctorates. In 2011, she received the Daniel Patrick Moynihan award from the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences for her careful use of data and research to advance the common good. She blogs at dianeravitch.net.

She lives in Brooklyn, New York.



Robin Hiller is the Executive Director of Voices for Education,   an organization she founded in 1998 in response to her son’s enrollment in an over-crowded kindergarten class in their neighborhood school. Her goal was to create a way to educate and empower parents to be a part of the decision-making process about education issues at the local and legislative levels.

Prior to establishing Voices for Education, Robin worked for over 20 political candidates and elected officials primarily developing policies that supported children, youth and families.  She is also the co-founder of “ChessPlays,” a program that provided chess instruction to at-risk middle school students.



Anthony Cody worked in the high poverty schools of Oakland, California, for 24 years, 18 of them as a middle school science teacher. He writes the widely read Living in Dialogue blog, and was one of the organizers of the Save Our Schools March in Washington, DC, in 2011.

A graduate of UC Berkeley and San Jose State University, he now lives in Mendocino County, California.



Phyllis Bush is a retired English teacher and a concerned grandparent. When she saw the changes in Indiana schools taking place at warp speed, she started writing letters, making phone calls, and going to town hall meetings to ask questions. In July 2010, she travelled to Washington to attend the Save Our Schools conference. Upon returning to Fort Wayne, she formed a grassroots group called theNortheast Indiana Friends of Public Education in an effort to inform taxpayers and concerned citizens about the impact of the unsound education reform policies and laws being passed and the increasing privatization of public schools. She has researched and written numerous fact sheets about the impact of vouchers, charters schools, high stakes testing, and myths about education, which can be found on the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education blog and on NEIFPE Facebook page . NEIFPE played a significant role in one of the most historic upsets in Indiana government history with the election of a new superintendent of public instruction.
She is a graduate of the University of Iowa (B.A. in English),  and has a master’s degree from the University of Saint Francis in Education and Counseling.  She taught for 32 years in the public schools in Illinois and Indiana.



Leonie Haimson is Executive Director of Class Size Matters,  a non-profit advocacy group working for smaller class sizes in NYC and the nation as a whole.  She is also a co-founder of Parents Across America,  a national grassroots group that supports progressive and proven education reforms.

She is a graduate of Harvard University, worked at the Educational Priorities Panel, and founded Class Size Matters in 2000.  She regularly speaks before parent, advocacy, and government groups, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News and on national radio shows.

She writes for several blogs, including NYC Public School Parents  and Huffington Post, and her articles and opinion pieces have been published in Education Week, the New York Times, the New York Daily News, InsideSchools, In These Times, the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet, Gothamschools, Gotham Gazette and elsewhere. In 2007 she received the John Dewey award from the United Federation of Teachers; in 2009 she was named as one of NYC’s family heroes by NYC Family Magazine; and in 2013 she was honored as an “Extraordinary Advocate for Our Children” by Advocates for Justice.



Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin.   His primary work considers the student achievement and progress in relation to accountability policies.

His work has been cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, Education Week, and other print and electronic media outlets. He has also appeared on local and national radio and TV including PBS, NBCLatino, NPR, and MSNBC.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy Analysis and a Masters in Sociology from Stanford University. He also holds a Masters of Higher Education and a Bachelor’s of History and Psychology from the University of Michigan.

He blogs at Cloaking Inequity.



Larry Lee is retired and lives in Montgomery, AL.   His last position before retiring was Director of the Center for Rural Alabama where he coordinated an extensive study of high-performing, high-poverty rural schools.  The result was the publication, Lessons Learned from Rural Schools.  He frequently writes about education issues for Alabama newspapers.

He is co-author of Beyond the Interstate: The Crisis in Rural Alabama and Crossroads and Connections: Strategies for Rural Alabama.

He is chairman of the advisory board of HIPPY Alabama, an early childhood learning program.  Lee is a graduate of Auburn University.



Renee Moore is an English Instructor at Mississippi Delta Community College. She was 2001 Mississippi Teacher of the Year and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and is also a member Teacher Leaders Network (TLN). She is co-author of Teaching 2030 (2011) and her education blog is TeachMoore.

I will have a leadership role on the academic advisory committee. If you are interested in joining that committee, allying with the organization, or serving in another volunteer role email me at my private email account jheilig at hotmail.com

Sí, se puede


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