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SXSWedu 2014

Votes Matter More Than Money: Grassroots Advocacy

As the US faces the challenges of an increasingly global market and fast-paced technology evolution, educating our children is paramount. However, in recent years, our nation and state have moved toward high-stakes testing in lieu of innovative, project-based education. To meet these demands, educators are pressured to focus on testing, not teaching. Nationwide, parents have expressed backlash in opposition to this approach and, in response, Texas recently passed into law a major education reform bill, House Bill 5. The new law was defined with considerable input from parents and educators. Grassroots involvement ensured that legislators knew voters strongly supported reducing state-mandated tests. This panel will discuss:
• how voters can make a difference at the legislative level
• a case study of civic advocacy in education (TAMSA)
• why now is the appropriate time to strike a better balance between testing and engaging students with more course flexibility and relevance.

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  1. What are the key elements for grassroots success in civic advocacy? a) a significant problem that resonates with people; b) social media and internet tools; c) leadership and commitment; d) positive relationships and credibility
  2. How do elected officials weigh input from various constituencies - business, parents, and educators?
  3. How do we keep children engaged in learning in the new technology-rich environment? What provides relevance and passion for students when a state-mandated test is not required?



Joanne Salazar, Board Member, TAMSA

Meta Information:

  • Tags: advocacy
  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Panel Discussion
  • Track: Education Policy & Funding
  • Level: Beginning
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