My tweets from Free Minds Free People conference yesterday


July 13, 2013 by juicefong

I attended the Free Minds Free People conference yesterday (Friday, July 12); they will be holding an anti-TFA summit on Sunday, so I was eager to participate. Got to watch the opening plenary with Jitu Brown giving the keynote, and attended a breakout workshop about growing your own teaching force from within the community. I had to leave home for NYC in the afternoon, so there’ll be no more live-tweeting from me at the conference. More reflections coming up. Here are my tweets from the conference:

I’m headed to the Free Minds Free People conference at Uplift Community HS in Chicago.

Buzzing, diverse crowd here at #FMFP2013; young, old and colorful. Registration line still jammed even though keynote already begun.

“I’m looking for a workshop on how to take down Rahm Emanuel. I’m looking for a workshop on how to take down privatization.” #FMFP2013

Well known Chicago community organizer Jitu Brown (@brothajitu) takes the stage at #FMFP2013.

“We need to control our institutions. Our schools in our communities are controlled by other interests.” –@brothajitu#FMFP2013

“If you don’t have a genuine love for that work, for the community you’re in, then you’re faking that fight.” –@brothajitu#FMFP2013

“In my neighborhood, the closing of schools has coincided w/ the closing of the precinct and the homicide rate jumped 300%.” #FMFP2013

Jitu: “90% of New Orleans schools now charter and 79% of them are given a D or F by the state. Best schools are the other 10%.” #FMFP2013

“We spend so much time talking about charters. They don’t even deserve the conversation.” –@brothajitu#FMFP2013

.@brothajitu calling out Urban Prep who says 100% of HS graduates college bound. Meanwhile 41% of freshman don’t graduate. #FMFP2013

“Communities are not controlling the institutions that impact our quality of life.” –@brothajitu#FMFP2013

“If parents walk into schools and get treated like they stole something, they will not support those schools.” –@brothajitu#FMFP2013

Jitu Brown talking about many individual strong local schools that have been shut down by CPS over last 20 years. #FMFP2013

Jitu calling out appointed school boards with uber wealthy members. “Are they accountable to us? No.” #FMFP2013

“If you full of it. If you just in it for the accolodes…then you’re more trouble than you’re worth.” –@brothajitu on the fakers #FMFP2013

Standing ovation for @brothajitu as he leaves the stage.

I’m headed to this workshop: Grow your own teachers: Community-based solutions to diversifying the teaching force… #FMFP2013

People here from Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Philly, Twin Cities, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Chile and more. #FMP2013

Woman here from Heinz Foundation in Pittsburgh. TFA-like model that recruits only black men, pays for their masters. 20 fellows this year.

Workshop I’m at run by Grow Your Own at Northeastern Illinois Univ. Mission: “to improve public schools in low-inc communities.” #FMFP2013

“Grow Your Own is abt countering structural racism in edu (incl factors that prohibit ppl of color from getting into ed schls).” #FMFP2013

Grow Your Own program participants: 49% black, 36% Latino, 2/3 btw age 30-50, majority have family income below $30,000. #FMFP2013

Great question to audience: What do you think makes good teacher candidates? #FMFP2013 at Grow Your Own

50 school closings in Chicago: 88% of affected kids are black, 94% low-income. #FMFP2013

I’m gathering from Grow Your Own ppl that TFA folks don’t fully realize damage to communities when teachers leave after 2 yrs. #FMFP2013

MT @EdTalent: absolutely – both for TFAers and for new urban teachers at large – last I checked avg tenure of new urban teacher = 1.6 yrs

Grow Your Own org displeased that while TFA has contract with CPS to apply directly to schools, their candidates don’t have that. #FMFP2013

@KatieOsgood_ Are you in here? I think GYO is excellent.

Grow Your Own: fundamental principal is that being from the community is a high value for determining who should be a teacher. #FMFP2013

@KatieOsgood_ TFA didn’t send me here. I sent me here. Can’t improve the org if we don’t listen to other perspectives. Must have dialogue.

@KatieOsgood_ I see this is an ideal for you but not likely realistic. Prob more likely that TFA influenced to change the way it operates.

That’s it for me from #FMFP2013. So glad I came and was nice to hear from different perspectives. Heading back to NYC now. Will blog.

One thought on “My tweets from Free Minds Free People conference yesterday

  1. […] I work for Teach For America out of New York and was in Chicago for work this last week. I was delighted when it became clear that I was available to come to your conference, and so I had the pleasure of attending part of yesterday’s program alongside all of you. (In case you are wondering, no one sent me to the conference; I came on my own accord.) I listened to Jitu Brown’s inspiring keynote and attended an insightful presentation by Grow Your Own, then did some mingling before having to leave in the early afternoon. My tweets from the day are here. […]

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